A dad has discovered that hip hop legend, Tupac Shakur, has been taught to his son through poetry in the seventh grade.
Alex Preston took to Reddit to share a screenshot of the assignment set by his son’s middle school English teacher asking pupils to read the Tupac poem The Rose that Grew from Concrete and analyze the metaphor behind the late rapper’s words.
One of the most popular and influential rappers of the 1990s, Tupac was fatally shot in a drive-by attack in Las Vegas, Nevada on September 7, 1996. He was just 25 years old.
Ever since that unfortunate night in Las Vegas, Shakur has been a topic of discussion among different generations. He had a work ethic like no other and wrote many songs that have been leaking ever since. An 83 GB computer hard drive containing unreleased Tupac photos and music was auctioned off last year.
Tupac has been an influential figure for youth in varying ways such as the former Tupac Amaru Shakur Center For The Arts in Atlanta that housed a place for youth. Tupac studied poetry at the Baltimore School for the Arts in his younger days and later attended classes under the tutelage of writer and poet Leila Steinberg who later served as his manager and helped him earn a record deal.
English class at a school in Dallas-Fort Worth, Texas, it’s through his efforts as a poet.
he Rose That Grew from Concrete was one of several poems Tupac wrote as a 19-year-old. It was later published as part of a collection under the same name and serves as a metaphor for the human spirit and ability to overcome adversity in life.
Preston told Newsweek he shared a picture of the homework assignment as he felt it was “something my teenage self would never have predicted.”
“Tupac was everywhere when I was in high school and while I was a huge fan, my parents/teachers/etc were not so thrilled with the example they believed him to be setting,” he said. “Flash forward a quarter-century and his lyrics are now being taught in school.”
Preston said he and his wife are avid readers and have been encouraging their young son, who is in the 7th grade, to read books like Lord of the Flies and 1984 over his summer breaks but this took him by surprise. “Tupac Shakur teaching my son about metaphor was not on my short list of 2022 topics,” he admits.
However, that’s not to say he’s opposed to the idea in any way. “I recall I had English teachers who would pull from Bob Dylan for their classes,” he said. “I would guess my son’s English teacher is simply pulling from her own personal experiences.”