Chance The Rapper announces a gift of $1 million to the Chicago Public School Foundation during a news conference at the Westcott Elementary School, March 6, 2017, in Chicago. (AP/Charles Rex Arbogast)

Chance the Rapper puts his money where his mouth is

The Grammy winner donated $1 million to Chicago public schools. Will celebs like Kanye West follow suit?


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D. Watkins
March 8, 2017 1:30AM (UTC)

Between our incompetent president and his staff of equally incompetent deplorables, there’s no shortage of bad news in the media. There's so much bad news that often we forget to report on the good that’s happening in our country.

On Monday, Chancelor Bennett, better known by his stage name Chance the Rapper, gave us a reason to not abandon all faith in humanity. The 23-year-old who has a history of being outspoken about the importance of education and community­­ slam-dunked his money where is mouth is by donating $1 million of his own cash to Chicago public schools.

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"Governor Rauner, do your job," Chance ordered in front of a room packed full of students and reporters at Westcott Elementary School. "Gov. Rauner can use his executive power to give Chicago's children the resources they need to fulfill their God-given right to learn."

Chance made history last month when his album "Coloring Book" became the first streaming-only album to be nominated for a Grammy and win. He's set a clear template for achieving success without the support of a major label and is now showing the world that you can be a successful artist without subscribing to the same stereotypes that plague popular music.

By contrast, the most famous Chicago rapper ever, Kanye West, throws media tantrums, sells basic white T-shirts for $100 a piece and endorsed a president who openly race baits, disrespects women and lies every time he opens his mouth. Hopefully Chance's selfless actions will inspire Kanye to take a break from making love to his own ego and do the same. And unlike other young celebrities — such as the Trump sons, who have spent at least a million on murdering innocent cheetahs and elephants — Chance is using his good fortune to bless the lives of others.

We should be thankful for a guy like Chance the Rapper and rush to support all his career endeavors. I hope and pray the people of Chicago act responsibly with the money so that others will follow suit.


D. Watkins

D. Watkins is an Editor at Large for Salon. He is also a professor at the University of Baltimore and founder of the BMORE Writers Project. Watkins is the author of the New York Times best-sellers “The Beast Side: Living  (and Dying) While Black in America” and "The Cook Up: A Crack Rock Memoir."

MORE FROM D. WatkinsFOLLOW @dwatkinsworld

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