In the wake of the Mike Brown shooting and many protests that have taken place all over the country just last year, many in the African-American community have called for those voices that may be bigger than their own. Some black celebs use their voices via social media and popular news outlets to give their thoughts on the civil unrest that we have been watching all over the news.
Others, like ‘Country Grammar’ rapper Nelly, have decided to move in silence and allow their actions to speak for themselves. Following the series of events that took place in Ferguson, the hip-hop star received a lot of backlash for not visiting the city as soon as others would have liked for him to. Instead, he came to Ferguson a little later and spoke with protestors about the hardships that they were faced with in their own streets. He also created a scholarship program for kids in the community, named after Mike Brown.
The scholarship is a part of a strategic plan which was set in motion to help bring change to Ferguson in the only effective way that Nelly sees fit.
“I try to do it through education because that’s the only way we’re going to get it. The only way we’re going to get this is to elevate,” Nelly explained in an interview with Hello Beautiful just after the Ferguson anniversary on August 9, 2015. “We have to get the kids to go out of these communities. Graduate. Get the knowledge. Come back to the community, and then they can run it because they understand the people and understand the severity of the situation.”
The Mike Brown scholarship isn’t the only act that Nelly has taken on empowering our young, he has also sent two kids to college on scholarships every year for the past 10 years. For those who have criticized Nelly for not doing much in his own state, the rapper makes it clear that sometimes it is better to just move in silence.
“It’s not about the hoo-ha,” he says. “It’s about the silent assassins. It’s the ones that move behind the scenes that get things done. The guy that’s screaming on television, he’s the diversion. I’m not a diversion. I’m going to get it done.”