“ If they had lived in another kind of society, their exceptional mathematical talents might have been better used. But they were Black.” - Malcolm X
West Indian Archie's claim to fame was that unlike other numbers runners who needed to write every customers number on paper, he had them all memorized. In the course of Malcolm’s adventures on the grimy underbelly of American cities, he came across many Black men who had brilliant, innovative minds. These minds were not refined by the American schools and polished for a higher purpose. Because of their color, and class they often fell to street violence from the drug trade, or were imprisoned. Just the other day a teacher at my job was asking about why we needed to teach the metric system since America does not use it. I told her the hood uses the metric system every day. Those kids know how to convert milligrams to ounces and pounds to kilograms all day. Sadly, its just for all the wrong reasons.
Under the alias of “Makaveli” Tupac Shakur arguably wrote some of his most aggressive raps ever. The name “Makaveli” came after Tupac (known to be a voracious reader) studied The Prince by Italian military strategist Niccolo Machiavelli. Machiavelli, like Tupac was far ahead of his time. He wrote things like “Men shrink less from offending one who inspires love than one who inspires fear.” Niccolo Machiavelli was a logical man not mislead by emotion. I believe this helped Tupac greatly as he assessed his enemies and ideas about how to deal with them.