Thursday, May 29, 2014

A black man was bought out for $3 billion. Teach the history.

Who would have thought that a gangsta hiphop pioneer -- the guy spittin obscenities and painting vivid lyrical pictures of the thug life in a group named Niggas With Attitude (N.W.A. with Eazy-E & Ice Cube) -- the guy who helped create Snoop Dogg, Eminem, and 50 Cent -- the guy whose record label was called Death Row Records -- the guy who won a Grammy for his hiphop anthem ‘Let me Ride’ off the still popular The Chronic CD -- the guy who made millions selling $16 headphones for $300 -- would be purchased by the world's number one brand for $3 billion?

I was in my 20s when Reginald Lewis was considered groundbreaking and became the first black to own a billion dollar company, Beatrice Foods. I read everything I could on Reggie to learn his secrets. They have a museum named after him in Baltimore. 

I wonder if the current crop of 20 year olds are as excited to learn about how Dr. Dre got to the position he’s in now. Even more impressive than Lewis, Dr. Dre didn’t buy his way in, he was the one purchased.

We often hear that black students don’t know black history. Either it isn’t taught or they are not interested in those old men and women. Here’s a chance to teach current black history from a guy who may be nearly 50 years old but is still culturally relevant to the hiphop generation. 

Let’s not allow Dr. Dre’s mega deal to be ignored, minimized, or go to waste. He is at the top of the chain of black business success and there are lessons to be learned in every black classroom in America (with The Chronic playing in the background). 

Being a student today could be so cool.

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