They say that knowledge is power and that most is certainly is true. As kids continue to learn, they grow into more capable human beings who can use their knowledge to find their place in the world.
Yet knowledge by itself can only do so much. Young people need to know how to express themselves and be creative, which is why Chancelor Bennett (a.k.a. Chance The Rapper) started Open Mike Chicago.
The program gives students a place to exercise and perform their talents in front of a crowd. Yet students aren’t the only ones performing.
Occasionally a celebrity guest will stop by to give a performance of their own. On June 11, students were surprised by one celebrity guest who absolutely brought the house down!
Students at Open Mike Chicago got a surprise celebrity performance.
According to Open Mike Chicago’s website, events are held every month at one of Chicago’s public libraries.
Most of the time, the focus of these events is on high school age performers and there is no special guest aside from Chance who serves as host. Yet, once a year or so, he’ll mix things up by introducing a celebrity guest.
Past guests have included Kanye West in 2015 and Dave Chappelle in 2017 Yet, at the June 11, 2018, performance at the Harold Washington Library Center, a celebrity guest showed up, who shocked the crowd.
Usually, Chance likes to give a big introduction to his guests, but this time he said, “My next guest needs no introduction, so let’s try it.”
The opening notes of the song ‘This is America” and the crowd started to scream. Then, when Donald Glover (a.k.a. Childish Gambino) made his way on stage, the cheering only grew louder.
As he jumped, the crowd jumped along with him. As he sang, the crowd sang back to him.
There was one point where the kids were so into the performance, Glover let them take the lead singing while he responded with backup!
Say what you will about Glover’s music or politics but he clearly cares a lot about fans of all ages. This particular performance was for a special graduation event, meaning that all of the audience members were graduating seniors.
This made for an incredible end of the year memory for much of the audience. Videos of the performance have been shared by multiple sources all across the Twitterverse often with thousands of likes and retweets.
While Glover’s latest song might not paint the best picture of the United States, his concert gave hundreds of young people hope as they approach lives outside of public school. That hope, that ability to create your own destiny, THAT is America too!
thank you @donaldglover for coming to our 30th @socialworks_chi @OpenMikeChicago !!! thank you @chancetherapper for leveraging your celebrity for the youth of Chicago in moments like these. thank you @chipublib @YOUmediaChicago !!! pic.twitter.com/sCMyPVRyF0
— BLACK POWER ranger (@MalcolmLondon) June 12, 2018