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Chuck D of Public Enemy spoke Thursday night at Sac State's Union Ballroom. Students from Sac State, Sacramento High School and community members braved the rain to listen to him speak for an hour-and-a-half.
D directed his speech to the younger students in the room, the freshmen and sophomores who are new to the higher learning system. He spoke about the importance of education, stressing that it is a way for people to improve their lives.
He credited his wife,Gaye Theresa Johnson, a college professor who was in attendance, with instilling a love of knowledge in him.
D captured his audience by using slang and references of the younger generation.
"(Chuck) gave us the tools necessary to be successful," said Sac State junior Connell Johnson. "Tonight was very useful and I hope to take these tools into the future to empower myself."
The message was simple : Manage your life.
D warned students to be aware of the dangers of technology. Constant texting and tweeting is ruining the generation, he said. "Students need to use the Internet for better purposes. Become a nerd in what you love."
He also criticized the thousands of kids on the street wearing clothing and brands they have no knowledge of. D stressed the need for people to learn everything about the things they love, be it clothing, cars or books.
"What does this have to do with you doing you?" D asked the audience frequently. He explained that it's students' responsibility to educate themselves and become marketable in a shrinking job market. D said uneducated people will face the toughest job market in 2020.
Every generation is worried about the next, he said, and technological advancements are dividing our country. Mixing jokes, stories and charisma, D was able to reach his target generation, as proven by the cheers and applause that broke out during and after the lecture.
"His message was good," said Trevon Walker, a Sacramento High student, as he played with his iPhone. "I will try to use his advice in my life."
Photos by Matthew Ceccato