John Boyega, Keke Palmer and more are using their voices to demand systemic change amid country-wide protests

By Carly Breit and Diane J. Cho
June 09, 2020 09:00 AM
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As ongoing protests take place across the country, celebrities have taken to the streets to share their pained messages of hope.

Following the death of George Floyd, an unarmed black man who was killed by a Minneapolis officer who kneeled on his neck until he took his last breath, millions of people have been protesting against police brutality in honor of not just Floyd, but also the other countless black men and women who have been killed by police who have yet to be convicted of their crimes.

Here are their messages:

Keke Palmer: 'March Beside Us'

Palmer made a passionate plea to National Guard members during a demonstration in Hollywood, urging officers to "be the change" and "march beside us and show us that you're here for us." The officers declined, instead taking a knee.

John Boyega: 'We Have Always Meant Something'

The Star Wars actor used a megaphone to amplify his emotional speech at a London protest. "Black lives have always mattered. We have always been important, we have always meant something. We have always succeeded regardless — and now is the time," he said in a video captured by Evening Standard. "I ain't waiting! I ain't waiting!" Boyega chanted as fellow protesters cheered.

Amber Riley: 'Cause I Need Freedom, Too'

The Glee star was among demonstrators who peacefully gathered outside the mayor of Los Angeles' home last week. At the sit-in, at which protestors urged Mayor Eric Garcetti to defund the police in the wake of Floyd's death, Riley delivered a soulful rendition of Beyoncé's "Freedom" as the crowd sang along.

Michael B. Jordan: 'Commit to Black Hiring'

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The Just Mercy star spoke out about the ways the entertainment industry needs to address racial discrimination at an L.A. protest. "You committed to a 50/50 gender parity in 2020," he said in a video captured by a fellow protester. "Where is the challenge to commit to black hiring? Black content led by black executives, black consultants. Are you policing our storytelling as well?"

Lexi Underwood: Police Should 'Protect and Serve Us'

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At just 16, the Little Fires Everywhere actress used her voice to demand justice at a Black Lives Matter march in downtown L.A. "There is so much trauma behind being only a child, and seeing us countlessly be beaten and murdered in these streets, by people who are supposed to protect and serve us," Underwood said. "I don't know if I am next."

Porsha Williams: ‘Stay Focused on the Cause’

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Despite peacefully protesting among hundreds during demonstrations in Atlanta, the Real Housewives star was one of many who was hit with tear gas fired by the police. Williams detailed her account on Instagram, saying that the “devastating” experience has given her “another level of strength" to continue protesting.

"It won't stop. Anybody who is out there now and they feel like they can't move forward because of the mistreatment [by] the police and what they're doing to us ... I would say to them, stay focused on the cause," she said. "We are looking to get justice for George Floyd."

Halsey: 'This Is Everyone's Problem’

The singer shared her firsthand experience protesting in L.A., showing multiple Instagram photos of herself using medical supplies to treat injured demonstrators and video of police spraying tear gas at a crowd, pleading for her followers to “please care.”

“We are begging you to care,” she added. “This is war on Americans. This is everyone’s problem. Everyone’s. #BLACKLIVESMATTER."