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Banner receives award for Katrina relief
David Banner was given a Visionary Award by the Black Caucus of State Legislators in Jackson, Miss., on Wednesday to recognize his humanitarian efforts and work in the community after Hurricane Katrina. Banner's tireless work raised over $1 million in Katrina relief, funds that he made sure went directly to those in need. Banner personally took food and supplies directly to evacuees immediately following the storm. Despite Banner's many contributions to the community, including a school book program and donations totaling $50,000 in college scholarships to Mississippi students -- his selection for the award, which was presented in front of 500 lawmakers and 200 students at the 30th anniversary of the event, was criticized by those who felt he should not be seen as a role model because of the content of his lyrics. Banner addressed his detractors upon accepting the award. "Everyone wants to talk about my lyrics, but where were you when I was passing out boxes at Katrina? Where were you when I was passing out my own personal shoes? You were not there. When I was there, standing in the water, next to dead children floating in the water, where were you? You were not there. It hurts me because I hear all these people talking stuff about my lyrics but what you need to do is instead of thinking about the cursing, think about the something that I'm putting in my lyrics. Change our neighborhoods, but they don't do that." When he finished his acceptance speech, there was no more controversy. He received a standing ovation.

-- The 411 Online

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