How The Weeknd, Kim Kardashian West and More Stars Have Supported Black Lives Matter
The singer recently showed his support by donating $250,000 to the Black Lives Matter Network. "Enough is enough," he tweeted in July following the shootings of Alton Sterling and Philando Castile. "It's time to stand up for this. We can either sit and watch, or do something about it. The time is now. #blacklivesmatter."
KIM KARDASHIAN WEST
The reality star published an impassioned essay entitled "#BLACKLIVESMATTER" in July. "This week we watched Alton Sterling and Philando Castile, two innocent black men, get senselessly murdered by police officers," she wrote. "Like a lot of you guys, I watched the videos, and was appalled and completely heartbroken. I was left speechless, angry and numb." Kardashian West went on to say that she wants her kids North, 3, and Saint, 7 months, "to grow up knowing that their lives matter." She ended the post by sharing links to resources for local legislators, the Black Lives Matter movement's site and donation pages for Castile and Sterling's families, writing, "Hashtags are not enough. This must end now."
CHRISSY TEIGEN & JOHN LEGEND
In 2014, Teigen and Legend aided Black Lives Matter from afar by hiring several food trucks to provide free meals for the New York City activists who took to the streets in the wake of Eric Garner's death. "Wish we could be there! Thank you for being a part of it!" Teigen told one of the trucks on Twitter. The couple's allegiance to the movement hasn't wavered in the years since: The pair frequently speaks out about police brutality and other racial justice issues on social media. "We should not have to jump through hoops to prove black people shouldn't be shot by police during routine traffic stops," Legend wrote in response to the Philando Castile shooting.
The Scandal actress posted a moving message on Instagram after five police officers were killed by sniper fire at a Black Lives Matter protest in Dallas, Texas. "There are no words that can encapsulate the pain of our bleeding hearts," she began. "Today, I am called to put my hand on my heart and affirm that: I matter. MY life matters. As a human, my life matters. As a Black person, my life matters. My life matters And yours does too…The violence must stop. We must do better. We all matter but [the] statement that ALL LIVES MATTER will only be true when we fully embrace that #blacklivesmatter."
BEYONCé & JAY Z
The power couple has showed their support for Black Lives Matter both in their artistic expression and outside activism. In October 2015, Jay Z's music streaming service Tidal held a charity concert in Brooklyn which raised $1.5 million for social justice groups, including Black Lives Matter. In the wake of the 2016 deaths of Philando Castile and Alton Sterling, Beyoncé posted a passionate call to action against violence on her website. "We are sick and tired of the killings of young men and women in our communities," she wrote. "We don't need sympathy. We need everyone to respect our lives…The war on people of color and all minorities needs to be over…We all have the power to channel our anger and frustration into action. We must use our voices to contact the politicians and legislators in our districts and demand social and judicial changes." The "Lemonade" singer also appeared alongside Rihanna, Bono, Chris Rock, Taraji P. Henson and more celebs in the poignant Alicia Keys-led PSA "23 Ways You Could Be Killed If You Are Black in America."
CARMELO ANTHONY, CHRIS PAUL, DWYANE WADE AND LEBRON JAMES
The NBA stars joined together to open the 2016 ESPY Awards with a powerful speech about Black Lives Matter. "The four of us we cannot ignore the realities of the current state of America," Anthony began. "The system is broken. But the problems are not new, the violence is not new and the racial divide definitely is not new." "Not seeing the value of black and brown bodies has to stop but also the retaliation has to stop. The needless gun violence in places like Chicago, Dallas, not to mention Orlando, it has to stop, enough. Enough is enough," added Wade. "I know tonight we are honoring Muhammad Ali, the 'G.O.A.T.', but to do his legacy any justice let's use this moment as a call to action for all professional athletes to educate ourselves, explore these issues, speak up, use our influence and renounce all violence," said James. "And most importantly go back to our communities, invest our time, our resources, help rebuild them help strengthen them, help change them."
The Orange Is the New Black Emmy winner responded to Black Lives Matter critics during a 2015 appearance on The Nightly Show. "I think what happens is that, people think when saying Black Lives Matter they think of it as being exclusionary some how, when it's not really meant to be that," Aduba explained. "It's not excluding people. On Earth Day we don't include Jupiter we just have Earth, we just celebrate Earth on that day."
The Grey's Anatomy actor, who produced the TV documentary Stay Woke: The Black Lives Matter Movement, was honored with the Humanitarian Award at the 2016 BET Awards for his commitment to social justice activism. Williams accepted the award with a stirring speech. "If you have a critique for the resistance, for our resistance, then you better have an established record of critique of our oppression. If you have no interest in equal rights for black people, then do not make suggestions to those who do. Sit down," he said. "We've been floating this country on credit for centuries. And we're done watching and waiting while this invention called whiteness uses and abuses us, burying black people out of sight and out of mind while extracting our culture, our dollars, our entertainment like oil, black gold. Ghettoizing and demeaning our creations, then stealing them, gentrifying our genius, and then trying us on like costumes before discarding our bodies like rinds of strange fruit."
Cannon has participated in Black Lives Matter protests in New York City and in Cleveland, Ohio, during the 2016 Republican National Convention. "Me and my squad out here taking our streets back! @hawknewsome and my team shutting down NY for #altonsterling #philandocastile and all injustice." he captioned an Instagram photo from a N.Y.C. march. "A life is a life. No human has the right to take another human's life! Peace is the message here!" he wrote alongside another pic.
The Facebook founder and CEO hit back in February 2016 when employees crossed out the phrase "Black Lives Matter" and replaced it with "All Lives Matter" on the company's walls. In a memo to employees that was obtained by Gizmodo, Zuckerberg chastised Black Lives Matter critics for what he believed was their misunderstanding of the movement's purpose. "There are specific issues affecting the black community in the United States, coming from a history of oppression and racism," he wrote. "'Black lives matter' doesn't mean other lives don't – it's simply asking that the black community also achieves the justice they deserve." Zuckerberg ended the message by inviting the Facebook team to a town hall meeting where they could learn more about the movement, writing "I hope and encourage people to participate in the Black@ town hall on 3/4 to educate themselves about what the Black Lives Matter movement is about."