Rev. Jackson's message is to stay in school, stay off drugs, and get involved in civil service. Rev. Jackson was introduced by Key Club president, Kendra Chapman-Small. As he spoke to the student body, he emphasized society's continual confusion about teenagers' role in the community. "...we can't quite find a place for you," said Rev. Jackson.
In addition, he asked the student body as whole several questions about drug use, suicide, and firearms. Rev. Jackson lead students who wished to pray in prayer.
Choices and consequences were illuminated in Rev. Jackson's motivational speech, attempting to deter students from habits with harmful consequences.
"Life is full of choices and consequences," said Rev. Jackson.
Jesse Jackson likes to say that we don’t lower the basketball hoop to nine-and-a-half feet for our students and we shouldn’t lower the academic hoop either.
Sharpton recalled running into a couple of young gangsta rappers at a Los Angeles nightspot a few months ago. He said they approached him and commended him for his work.
The young rappers then went on to say they were making a statement, too.
"We just full of rage," Sharpton quoted them as saying. "We're angry."
The young rappers railed against societal injustice against black men and how their music was their response.
Sharpton said he stopped them and asked whether they got paid for their rapping.
Of course, they said, telling how twice a year they go to the office of their record labels to pick up their royalty checks.
"When you go twice a year to your record company and you go up to the vice president of accounting's office and you see his secretary to get your royalty check, do you call her a bitch?"
When the gansta rappers said they didn't, Sharpton said he responded, "Then you're not as angry as you thought you were."
Sharpton said he told the rappers, "You should not get paid to disrespect yourself and your mother and your wife and your girlfriend and your sister and your daughter."