While there are many facets of being a Chicago artist in the modern age that set them apart from the rest of the country, it’s been a consistent penchant for caring, empathy and the need for conscious thought that has always been a centerpiece of any musical movement from the middle of the map. That’s why it was no surprise when Chance The Rapper used his fame to help CPS and the local homeless, why Vic Mensa pushes for rights of the average citizen and Jamila Woods is breaking down barriers for black women across the world; it’s in the DNA. That’s also why I wasn’t surprised to come across a story of yet another Chicago musician and current teacher fighting for what they believe in, regardless of the scale of the battle. 21-year-old rapper Roosevelt The Titan isn’t too far removed from high school to forget what shaped his experience, and he’s set out to make sure that the creative writing classes that offered him his first opportunity to express himself aren’t eliminated from his alma mater, Lincoln Park High School because of budget cuts.
“I took the same class with the same teacher and have extremely benefited from it. I now teach at wells higschool after school and with their lack of creative writing in the school I’ve personally seen the confidence and emotional intelligence of the students grow ten fold,” said Roosevelt. “For me it gave me an outlet. and yes; I could do it all on my own but creative writing makes it a requirement, it makes it acceptable and accessible.”
For Roosevelt, who graduated from LPHS in 2015, creative writing classes offered an opportunity to learn to express himself, a rarity in the test-driven world of CPS. Because of that experience, one that he credits as being the catalyst to his current ambitions, the exclusion of the class to future students was one that immediately struck a nerve.
Storming in LLC board meeting like…
Voices are heard
Creative writing is a necessity pic.twitter.com/disetrBJRE
— Roosevelt The Titan (@_TitanRose) April 4, 2018