Nipsey Hussle’s funeral and memorial services were held today at the Los Angeles Staples Center, located just a few miles from where I live. This was of interest to me, as a #blackauthor and also just as a person of color. According to an article in The Grapevine, the free tickets to the 21,000 seat arena ran out in minutes. So while some people opted for hanging around, outside the Staples Center, paying their respects over there; his other fans, friends, and mourners took an alternate route.
Black Community Support
I’m a resident of South Central Los Angeles, and sometimes I forget just how interesting this city can seem to people who don’t live here. So much goes on in Cali, and the black community where I live, that much of the time, it’s like background noise (or music, depending on what it is). Anything dealing with sports and entertainment in the black community where I reside, is usually notable by the numerous tee-shirt sales and whatever the particular message is.
One thing about the black community, regardless of what others think: we really can come together when we have a common cause. Since this is the case with black celebrities who aren’t necessarily from around here, it’s doubly the case when it’s all about one of our own. Today I walked through the South Central, Crenshaw District where Nipsey Hussle was known and revered. I assure you, this man’s community will not forget him.
Defining Our Own Heroes
As I approached Crenshaw and Slauson, the area where he was killed, hundreds had come to memorialize him. I could only get so close. I was barely able to snap a few photos, due to the crowd and crowd control officers on the scene [They’ll be posted on my Instagram and Pinterest pages].
The news cameras all showed up in full force, all eager to get some good footage, and spin the narrative about what they were seeing, depending on their politics. At first I was a bit irritated, as I looked around at the strong police presence and the thirsty paparazzi. Then I smiled to myself as I realized how the negative “thug rapper” narrative wouldn’t really fly with the people who matter. I smiled, because black people are finally getting to a point where we define our heroes. Regardless of whatever tainted view that others may try and convey, to the community that Nipsey did so much for, he will go down as a black fallen hero.
Seeing My Community
Instead of sticking around and praying that no violence would jump off (like a few days earlier), I decided to walk back to where I live, taking photos of stuff I see every day in my community. The more I looked, the more I truly saw. Along the way, I saw more and more evidence to convince me that although he may be gone, Nipsey Hussle will not be forgotten in his community.
To view more of my images from today’s walk through the hood, visit and follow my Instagram and Pinterest pages. #blackauthor | #blackcommunity