Chance the Rapper tells Parents that he and wife Kirsten have "been teaching Kensli to love herself" and "to understand that Black is beautiful"

By Jen Juneau
August 04, 2020 09:15 AM
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The Black Lives Matter movement has been a big teaching moment for Chance the Rapper.

The father of two, 27, poses alongside wife Kirsten and their two daughters — Marli, 1 this month, and Kensli, 5 in September — for Parents magazine's September issue, where he discusses the current racial climate in the U.S. and how he's talking to his older child about the ongoing unrest in the wake of George Floyd's death.

"My kids are young. Mainly, we've been teaching Kensli to love herself, to understand that her opinion is important, to understand that Black is beautiful and that Black power is her superpower," says Chance, whose real name is Chancelor Bennett.

As for his baby girl, "Marli, I've just been trying to teach her how to walk," he quips.

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Chance the Rapper and family cover Parents magazine's September issue
Justin French for PARENTS

One thing that has helped Chance understand racism more himself "is realizing that people can adhere to racist systems and benefit from them without necessarily consciously doing so," he tells Parents.

"And my understanding of that came from my being able to see how I could be complicit in patriarchy and sexism," adds The Big Day artist. "When there are protests, they're mostly for Black men. Statistics show that Black women are also brutalized at an extremely high rate or, in some cases, killed by racist police officers."

Chance the Rapper and family for Parents magazine
Justin French for PARENTS

"So I think we're starting to address many issues: racism, patriarchy, capitalism, colorism. Until we can recognize the stem of each problem and how we all work within the system, we can't actually make it better," Chance says.

He also shows his appreciation for teachers during both the abundant social conversations and ongoing coronavirus (COVID-19) global health crisis: "If we thought that teaching our kids how to read was hard, imagine teaching them that there's an entire system of oppression that our society is built on, that they can either be complicit in or work to change."

Chance the Rapper and wife Kirsten for Parents magazine
Justin French for PARENTS

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"It's a difficult task, but it's like we were born or live in this time for a reason," Chance continues. "I think we have a pretty crazy opportunity right now to change the trajectory of humanity."

During the pandemic, the "No Brainer" rapper has seen a silver lining in social distancing, recognizing it as "an opportunity to connect in a substantial way with our children and spouses."

"It's been an amazing growth point for me," Chance says. "Kensli and I do little arts-and-crafts projects. We did a volcano experiment, and we grew some sea monkeys. I built her a bike. The tough part was putting the brakes on. Like, it's actually one of the most difficult things I ever did, putting the brakes on the bike."

To help combat systemic racism, consider learning from or donating to these organizations:

  • Campaign Zero (joincampaignzero.org) which works to end police brutality in America through research-proven strategies.
  • ColorofChange.org works to make government more responsive to racial disparities.
  • National Cares Mentoring Movement (caresmentoring.org) provides social and academic support to help Black youth succeed in college and beyond.