Nobody throws a block party like Dave Chappelle and his Sunday celebration had the added power of being for a good cause. The comedian hosted the “Gem City Shine” Block Party this weekend to benefit the community of Dayton, Ohio after a mass shooting earlier in August left nine people dead.
The ticketed event featured performers like Chance the Rapper, Stevie Wonder and Teyana Taylor with speeches by politically-involved comedians like John Stewart, Michael Che and Chappelle himself. Proceeds from the event went to The Dayton Foundation and more specifically, the Dayton Oregon District Tragedy Fund which directly benefits the families of victims of the shooting.
“Good people gotta be louder than bad people,” says comedian Dave Chappelle, who hosted a benefit concert in the wake of the Dayton shooting. “The good ones gotta make some noise. The bad ones are getting too much spotlight.” https://t.co/x5S81v0i2r pic.twitter.com/IQqwis5izv
— CNN (@CNN) August 26, 2019
Chappelle explained to CNN that he wanted to set up the event to build up the community since an Ohio town is likely to get forgotten amid the other more widely-covered gun violence in Washington, New York City and Los Angeles. News of the Dayton shooting, which occurred about 16 miles from Chappelle’s Ohio residence, hit him hard and prompted him to immediately call Mayor Nan Whaley to set up a benefit.
Whaley was so grateful for the celeb’s dedication to helping the city that she officially named the day “Dave Chappelle Day” and presented the comedian with a birthday card on behalf of the city (Chappelle’s 46th birthday was the day before, August 24).
Earlier in the day, Kanye West held his own benefit for the community in the form of his Sunday Service, which typically relocates every week. Stevie Wonder also joined for the service and Kim Kardashian tweeted ahead of the event that it would be “in support of victims and survivors of the Dayton mass shooting.”
The shooting in Dayton, Ohio happened in the city’s Oregon Historic District in the early morning of August 4. The shooter killed nine victims and injured 27 others before turning the gun on himself. The attack was just 13 hours after another mass shooting in El Paso, Texas where a gunman killed 22 people and left 24 injured. Chappelle asserted that the benefit was meant to honour victims of the El Paso shooting and all mass shootings that have happened in the U.S.
Fans of Chappelle might remember the comedian’s last block party, which he held in Brooklyn, NY, and was the subject of the 2005 Michel Gondry-directed documentary, Dave Chappelle’s Block Party. It featured some of the same performers, including Stevie Wonder and Kanye West as well as others like John Legend, Erykah Badu, Jill Scott, Common and The Roots.