Former President Barack Obama joined the chorus of those sending sympathy and singing the praises of recently killed rapper and community activist Nipsey Hussle.
Hussle, born Ermias Joseph Asghedom, was fatally shot outside of his clothing store March 31. The details of the shooting and his life of working to better his South Los Angeles community were laid out by his brother in the days following his death.
That community work is what has drawn the attention of Obama.
“While most folks look at the Crenshaw neighborhood where he grew up and see only gangs, bullets, and despair,” he wrote in a letter. “Nipsey saw potential. He saw hope.”
Obama continued in the letter to praise the businesses and community centers he started and hoped that his memory would cause those in Crenshaw and communities like it to draw inspiration from his work.
“His choice to invest in that community rather than ignore it -- to build a skills training center and a coworking space in Crenshaw; to lift up the Eritrean-American community; to set an example for young people to follow -- is a legacy worth of celebration.” Obama wrote. I hope his memory inspires more good work in Crenshaw and communities like it.”
The letter, which sent his and Michelle's sympathies to Nipsey Hussle's family, friends and fans, was read at the memorial service at the 21,000 seat Staples Center, and tickets were given away for free to those who wanted to pay their respects to the artist.
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