Written by Brittany Shawnté
I have the privilege to share the story of Christian R&B/hip hop artist Rahn Anthoni! In addition to his experience as a TV host, Rahn effortlessly creates inspirational music with R&B, hip hop, and gospel elements, hoping to reach someone else with his words. “Music is soothing to the soul and, when you have the right lyrics, it makes life easier especially when it’s words of encouragement,” he said. “If a person is going through [an] issue in life, music can help.”
In fact, Rahn is using his music now as a platform to bring awareness about abuse going on with special needs kids. His role as advocate stemmed from the tragic loss of his own special needs son, Aaron Hatcher, in March 2011, allegedly at the hands of a teacher. “Aaron was a person who would show love in spite of his disability,” the artist said of his late child. “Aaron could not walk or talk, but he show expression with his eyes. If you were ever going through something, he showed emotions with you as if everything would be fine in spite of your situation. Even though Aaron was allegedly abused by teachers he never showed any hate toward anyone.”
For Rahn, he realized that it was important for others to know more about and communicate with those with special needs because they’re often misunderstood. “Special needs kids are creative and very smart. If we take the time to communicate with them we will learn that they are smart,” he said. “I learned a lot from Aaron. I learn to be patient, [to] love and I got a lot of joy.”
As Aaron loved music and seeing his dad perform, Rahn began to realize that he could use his singing as a way to reach the masses. “Music is the key that’s freeing me from the hurt and pain,” the singer admitted. Rahn recently released his track, “I’ll Trust You,” as a special tribute to Aaron, and is determined to put his trust in God no matter what. “I want all to realize that we have a choice to trust GOD in spite of what the situation is. I chose to trust GOD because that is my only hope,” Rahn revealed. “I want the song to let people know we must forgive and love in spite of whatever happens in our [lives].” That last part can be so very hard to do, but is true.
Shortly after Aaron’s passing, Rahn, currently in Georgia, also started his own non-profit organization, They Can’t Talk, But We Can, Inc. (TCTBWCI), alongside his wife Denise. The organization provide advocate services for youth with physical, emotional, behavioral, or learning disabilities, as well as assisting parents and caregivers with special needs children. “We also work with legislation to make it better for our special needs community,” Rahn said, currently working towards holding government officials accountable if proven that they have kids in the special needs community.
TCTBWCI also has worked with representatives to get cameras in special needs classrooms in Georgia. The nonprofit will be hosting their annual Special Needs Rock Awards, honoring not only special needs kids, but parents, teachers, and so many others that are good in their community! This year will mark the third year for the awards, which is set to be held on October 29. The organization is currently seeking sponsors for the event, so feel free to reach out by email to donate!
Currently, TCTBWCI are developing a video project, The Aaron Hatcher Story, which will take people into what happened with Aaron. In fact, they are working with actress Chrystale Wilson (The Players Club, From The Bottom Up) to create it! Aaron and Denise are also creating a play approcalled, “They Can’t Talk But We Can” with actress D’Atra Hicks, who’s done plays with Tyler Perry. “I hope to see [TCTBWCI] as one of the largest nonprofits helping and giving awards on a major network for the special needs community,” Rahn said. “I hope to see laws in place to make a better life for the special needs community and we are the ones who [are] going to make that happen across the world.”