In the months since Nipsey Hussle’s death, countless tributes have surfaced as his family, friends, and fans have come to grips with such an unexpected loss. Murals have popped up throughout Los Angeles and award shows have celebrated his legacy, but one of the most unique ways his memory lives on is through a book club.
Comprised of four individual chapters and a total of 76 black and brown men sprinkled throughout Oakland, Calif., Washington, D.C., New York, and Los Angeles, the Marathon Book Club convenes on a monthly basis to explore the literature that inspired one of the most influential artists and entrepreneurs in recent memory.
As the Los Angeles Times notes, their membership includes everyone from executives to former athletes who’ve collected their doctorates and degrees from historically black colleges, private institutions, and public universities; who discard their accolades in favor of fellowship over books like Robert Greene’s 48 Laws of Power and The Spook Who Sat by the Door by Sam Greenlee.
Tom Hamilton, co-founder of Leimert Park mainstay Eso Won Books in Los Angeles, told the Times, “People want to connect and, in a sense, heal” by indulging in these books that Hussle was so passionate about.
Lauren London, Hussle’s longtime love and fiancée, revealed just how serious the 33-year-old entrepreneur was about laying in bed and listening to audiobooks for hours.
“We read a lot of books together,” she said days after his death. “We inspired each other to be better versions of ourselves. He was a truth seeker and a truth speaker.”
And thankfully, Hussle’s pursuit of truth has inspired members of the Marathon Book Club to embrace their own.
From the Times:
Rashad Drakeford, founder of The Marathon Book Club, gave voice to an internal battle. The 32-year-old holds a high-level position at a well-respected consumer technology company, but lately he’s been feeling like his dreams of helping under-served youths cannot be realized there.
“I’m not being heard in the way that I want to,” he said. “Now I’m at a place where, do I take all the skills, experiences and avenues and apply it to doing good for us? That’s a hard point to get to.”
“Mind if I ask, but what’s hard now?” Rahshiene Taha asked.
“Money, to be honest,” Drakeford said, voicing the fears of many aspiring entrepreneurs. “Uncertainty.”
Feeling the conversation had focused too much on him, Drakeford tried to change the subject. “This is not a therapy session for me.”
Charles H.F. Davis III, a professor at USC, interjected: “It’s for all of us.”
What started as a viral tweet that listed every book that the “Last Time That I Checc’d” rapper mentioned throughout the years in songs, interviews, or social media has now blossomed into a sanctuary for healing, hope, and fellowship among black and brown men, which is exactly how The Marathon should continue.