July 19, 2016
With Coloring Book, Chance the Rapper uplifts the black experience in a uniquely positive, committedly Christian manner.
Reading this made me tear up for some reason. I guess it moved me to see someone pressing forward despite adversity. It's inspiring. I always get inspired by stories like this but then the anxieties set in again. It's why I like to put one day aside for God. It reminds me of what's most important in life after a young person's week of worries and selfish desires and trivial social dramas. So, thank you for this post. I'm going to keep it in bookmarks and come back to it when I need it the most.
Chance is terrific, and every life has its share of pain, not to mention the awareness any black kid in Chicago has about race and poverty. But I think this implies a "poor kid from the South Side" story which is just not true. The South Side is not a monolith.
Just a couple of lines from Wikipedia
"Bennett grew up in the middle-class neighborhood of West Chatham on Chicago's South Side. His father, Ken Williams-Bennett, was an aide to former Chicago mayor Harold Washington and worked for then-Senator Barack Obama. Williams-Bennett, who is now a deputy chief of staff to Mayor Rahm Emanuel, dreamed that his son might one day hold office."
Chance attended Jones College Preparatory High School, a selective public high school rated one of America's Best High Schools by Newsweek Magazine in 2010.
I think it is fair to say that Chance is a remarkable artist, and he is able to represent both anguish and joy. But it also seems true that we are looking at a young man whose parents had some resources and high hopes for him, and he didn't suffer the stultifying effects of poverty or a lack of opportunity and diminished hopes. A better question to ask might be "how many more Chance-level performers are out there who simply don't have the opportunities and healthy environment to develop that Chance had?"
Add your comment to join the discussion!