John Boyega went viral after he emotionally spoke at a peaceful protest in support of the Black Lives Matter movement

June 08, 2020 11:07 AM
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Days after his emotional speech at a Black Lives Matter protest went viral, John Boyega is thanking supporters and sharing another message on how to move forward.

The Star Wars actor, 28, captivated the world with a passionate speech at London's peaceful protest to support the Black Lives Matter movement. The protest happened in response to the killing of George Floyd, an unarmed 46-year-old black man, while in police custody.

"I want to thank you all for the love and support you have shared over the last few days, although nothing I have done is for praise, or is truly even enough, in the grand scheme of things," the actor wrote in a lengthy Instagram caption on Monday. "This is an intense time for our community, and the most important thing is for us to maintain momentum and not lose sight of how critical it is to pursue long term solutions and commitments, for the sake of our generation, and the next. Our individual pursuits of success and belonging remain, but now more than ever, it’s important to use this movement as fuel to inspire new ways of thinking, building, and growing, together. I believe any great movement starts with a renewal of the mind."

"I’ll continue to use my platform to fight against the injustices and inequalities in our community, no matter what. Nonetheless, one man can’t do it alone - I need you, and we need each other! We need everyone, across industry’s, soci-economic backgrounds, countries, to unite with a shared goal of REAL change," he added.

John Boyega speaks to the crowd during a Black Lives Matter protest in Hyde Park on Wednesday in London.
Dan Kitwood/Getty

Boyega's speech touched the hearts of many, including fellow celebrities who rallied behind the actor on social media.

"We got you, John," wrote Jordan Peele in response to a tweet by The Nikki Diaries, who quoted a line that Boyega said during his speech: "Look I don’t know if I’m going to have a career after this but, f— that.”

Many from the Star Wars family similarly supported Boyega, including Mark Hamill, who wrote, "Never been more proud of you, John. @JohnBoyega.

During his speech, Boyega thanked supporters of the Black Lives Matter movement and encouraged their continued activism.

"This is very important; this is very vital," he told the demonstrators in an emotional moment, captured on-camera by the U.K. outlet the Evening Standard. "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."

"I ain't waiting! I ain't waiting!" Boyega continued as fellow protesters cheered.

John Boyega speaks in Hyde Park, London, in support of the Black Lives Matter movement on Wednesday.
Photo by David Parry/Shutterstock

The British-Nigerian actor also addressed black men specifically, saying, "We need to take care of black women."

"They are our hearts; they are our future," he said. "We cannot demonize our own. We are the pillars of the family. Imagine this: a nation that is set up with individual families that are thriving, that are healthy, that communicate, that raise their children they love, have a better rate of becoming better human beings. That's what we need to create."

To help combat systemic racism, consider learning from or donating to these organizations:

  • Campaign Zero (joincampaignzero.org) which works to end police brutality in America through research-proven strategies.
  • ColorofChange.org works to make government more responsive to racial disparities.
  • National Cares Mentoring Movement (caresmentoring.org) provides social and academic support to help black youth succeed in college and beyond.