Big Sean makes big impression on Detroit schoolkids

Tom Greenwood
The Detroit News
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Detroit — Detroit rapper Big Sean has certainly played to bigger audiences, but he’s never appeared before a more important one than on Thursday morning.

That’s when the entertainer appeared before 100 cheering students and their parents at Carleton Elementary-Middle School on Detroit’s east side.

For the second straight year, Big Sean (real name Sean Anderson) has returned to his hometown to distribute more than 1,000 backpacks (donated by the Office Depot Foundation), school supplies and anti-bullying books to Detroit Public Schools students.

But the Grammy Award-winning artist delivered more than supplies; he delivered the message of hope, hard work, personal responsibility and the value of education.

“We try to deliver a positive message to the kids,” said Anderson, who was accompanied by his mother, Myra Anderson, chairman of the Sean Anderson Foundation. “I want these kids to succeed, to show to the world that Detroit is the greatest city in the world. A lot of great people have come from Detroit and have been graduates of the Detroit school system.”

Anderson, who grew up in the McNichols and Wyoming area, is a graduate of Cass Tech, just like his mother. In April, he became the first MC to rap at the White House.

In his appearance before the kids at Carleton, Anderson stressed the importance of image and education.

“As you go through life, be polite, be courteous, dress and speak properly and be on time,” said Anderson, as parents nodded their heads in agreement.

“I graduated Cass with a 3.6 average and was on my way to Michigan State University,” said Anderson, who would also make a second appearance at the Blackwell Institute later Thursday morning.

“I never made it but I wish I had. I wish I had a college education instead of having to hire attorneys, business managers and accountants to explain things to me that I don’t understand.”

Anderson also told the kids to listen to that voice inside themselves.

“When it comes to what’s wrong and what’s right, listen to your heart,” Anderson said. “Your heart never lies. Listen to it.”

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