Friday, April 23, 2010

Dr. Boyce Watkins: T-Pain's Ignorance Can't be Afforded by Our Community

by Dr. Boyce Watkins, Syracuse University

I recently received an interesting email from a friend of mine. The email was linked to a video about the singer T-Pain, and reminded her of a conversation she and I'd just had a day earlier. The gist of our discussion was that there are far too many of "us" who enjoy being ignorant and uninformed. While this certainly doesn't define the bulk of the African American community, there are some of us who are proud of the fact that we don't read, don't understand things and don't want to educate ourselves. Even the actor Will Smith recalls hiding his books on the way home from school, since he didn't want his friends to know that he studied.

seems to be determined to take ignorance to a new level. Known as the artist who once showed up to an awards show wearing a necklace with the words "Big Ass Chain" on it, Pain was made to look really silly by Fox News conservative Sean Hannity, who tricked the artist into endorsing the Republican party.


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