Nearly one year ago, the world lost up-and-coming rapper Bashar Jackson, who fans more affectionately referred to as Pop Smoke.
Now, the parents of the 20-year-old star (who was shot and killed in a home invasion on the West Coast) are campaigning against gun violence. Pop’s mom and dad, Audrey and Greg Jackson, have partnered with the Entertainers 4 Education Alliance/I WILL Graduate program to bring awareness to the cause. “Because of gun violence, I’ll never see my son run up the front of our steps, taking them two at a time,” Mrs. Jackson says to the camera. “He won’t ever take my hands again and dance with me. He won’t come into my room and muscle pose in the mirror. Gun violence destroys families. It must stop.”
“We needed to get our youth’s attention fast and saw Pop Smoke’s polarizing music, life and death as a catalyst for positive change,” Entertainers 4 Education Alliance/I WILL Graduate founder Tonya Lewis Taylor said in a statement. “We reached out to his parents who wanted to honor their son’s legacy by participating in the video. We want the youth to considerably weigh the cost of their actions. There is no going back after that trigger is pulled. One moment of anger creates a lifetime of pain and anguish for the loved ones left behind”.
“Since the beginning of 2020, there have been over 1,000 shootings and almost 300 murders in New York City,” the press release notes. Watch the PSA below. We are praying for all those affected by gun violence. May Pop Smoke rest in peace.
Photo: 2020HHA / Getty