“Here’s an opportunity to make a change that will last for 10 years.” — Ludacris
Oftentimes we criticize rap stars for lyrics in their songs that can be detrimental to their fan base. So it’s only right we recognize rappers when they’ve done or are doing something positive for their listeners and the black community.
In March and April, Grammy award-winning rapper Ludacris (Christopher Bridges) staged a five-city 2010 Census Tour dubbed “Luda On the Block” with stops in Dallas, New Orleans, New York City, Washington D.C ., and his hometown Atlanta to encourage black people to fill out their 2010 Census forms and promptly return them.
“I’m serious about the black community being counted this time around. Otherwise we will have to wait another 10 years and that is unacceptable. Aren’t we tired of complaining? Here’s an opportunity to make a change that will last for 10 years,” Ludacris said prior to his tour.
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the 2010 Census information “affects the number of seats your state occupies in the U.S. House of Representatives. And people from many walks of life use census data to advocate for causes, rescue disaster victims, prevent diseases, research markets, locate pools of skilled workers and more.”
Yet, some blacks are still skeptical of the census questions and believe the government has an ulterior motive for peeking into the personal homes of residents throughout the country. In fact, fewer than 60 percent of blacks actually returned their census questionnaires in 2000 compared to 77.5 percent of whites, according to the Census Bureau.
Black cynics claim the 2010 Census is a big hoax. They say it’s a waste of time filling out the forms. They believe nothing will ever change in our country.
However, the ironic thing is we just heard these same sentiments recently — about three years ago when then Illinois Sen. Barack Obama was campaigning to become the first black President of the United States.
At the time, some blacks were skeptical. They claimed voting was meaningless. They said there was no way Sen. Barack Obama would be elected into the White House.
And we all know what happened.
Throughout his rap career, Ludacris hasn’t been the ideal spokesman for the black community, recording hit songs like “Move Bitch,” “Money Maker” and “Pimpin’ All Over the World.” But he was loud, clear and definitely on point when he rhetorically asked: “Aren’t we tired of complaining?”
I certainly am.
Dwayne C. Nelson’s music and sports column appears regularly on Associated Content. Click on the links below to read some of his recent columns:
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