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Transcript Of Chance The Rapper's BET Humanitarian Award Speech Is Moving


At Sunday night's BET Awards, one special artist was honored with a humanitarian award for his work assisting the public school system in his hometown of Chicago. Chance the Rapper's BET humanitarian award speech followed in the vein of similar statements on the contributions of young black Americans and the black artistic community from earlier in the evening. While brief, his comments nonetheless marked an important moment in an otherwise fraught era.

The 24-year-old rapper, who had won a Best New Artist award earlier in the evening, was presented the award by Chairman and CEO of BET Networks Debra Lee, following an emotional video message from former first lady Michelle Obama.

"Barack and I are so sorry that we cannot be there with you tonight in person, but please know that we are with you in spirit, and we are so incredibly proud of you, Chance," Mrs. Obama said. She continued,

Mrs. Obama was right: Aside from all his previous efforts to reduce gun violence in Chicago during the 2014 #SaveChicago campaign, which he promoted alongside his father and which won him Chicago's Outstanding Youth of the Year Award, Chance — who attended the ceremony with his mother — was honored on Sunday night for his specific efforts earlier in 2017 to help students by pledging $1 million to the Chicago Public School system. "This isn't about politics, this isn't about posturing. This is about taking care of the kids. Everybody and their momma knows about what's going on in Chicago, it's constantly talked about. But we're about to enhance the conversation," he said at the time.

A full transcript of Chance's remarks upon accepting the BET Humanitarian Award, which echoed his comments from March this year, can be found below.