A Banner Christmas for Inner City Children - MSNewsNow.com - Jackson, MS

Jackson 12/25/06

A Banner Christmas for Inner City Children

By Roslyn Anderson

Rapper David Banner brought Christmas to hundreds of children and families in Jackson's inner city neighborhoods Monday.

The platinum selling recording artist used proceeds from a recent Florida concert to bring holiday cheer to his fans at home.  

The Jackson native and philanthropist stands in the cold after finishing his rounds in the capital city talking about the joy he's gained from the children he's just seen.  

Banner said, "The boys' toys went fast."

Before spending christmas with family and friends the rapper canvassed the streets of Jackson handing out money and toys to neighborhood children and their parents.

His S.U.V is packed with remaining toys for children in Lincoln County.

He said, "I'm in the hood this morning. All you nay sayers, I don't see you."

Banner wants his critics to know that he puts his money where is mouth is and expects them to do the same.

 Despite the image some rappers have portrayed Banner says many work hard at their craft and return to their neighborhoods to help even when professional athletes and other wealthy professionals don't.

He said, "A lot of older rappers, they don't know how to give. Nobody even gave to them so I try to be the example."

It's a perception he wants to change and while he admits his lyrics aren't for everyone, he said the financial benefits help his community.

Banner said, "I would ask really ask the kids like who is really hurting in the hood, and they'll tell me and we'll go give the family some money."

Christmas morning Banner traveled to the Christian Brotherhood Apartments, Virden Addition, Washington Addition and random neighborhoods passing out $100.00 bills and surprising children with dolls, toys, educational tools and hand held video games.

He believes local politicians and community leaders should do the same.

The billboard chart topper added, "This is what makes me happy. The pressure of being an artist and especially being the first (rap) artist, people don't understand that pressure. And to see these kids smiles this morning who probably wouldn't have gotten nothing either way that really made my year."

The next stop on his Christmas journey is Brookhaven.

He said, "Most of my family is from Brookhaven Mississippi so you know we held back a couple of toys, and I'm going to run through the hood while I'm in Brookhaven Mississippi and give some toys to the kids down there too."

Banner donated $15,000.00 in cash to area families, hoping to start a tradition that will improve the lives of people in his hometown.

He said, "It's about love and to be honest with you to be honest with you I need it more than they need it. This is what builds my spirit."

Banner says he is grateful to God and the fans who purchase his music , making it possible for him to give back.

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