Black entertainers and athletes for a large portion of white America represent what it’s “like” to be black. Either we’re shucking and jiving or ducking and diving. So, with that said do those entertainer and athletes who’ve made their way into mainstream (white) America bear any internal responsibility, not an obligation to support the Black Lives Matter or any movement that takes in account of any social injustices, which means taking an account of one’s own blackness? History would predicate that many of them won’t for the fear of social media backlash or “most importantly” the backlash on their bank accounts.
One of the first soul singers, Ray Charles refused to play in front of a segregated audience in his home state of Georgia in 1961. Due to the fact he had a contractual agreement, lawsuits were filed against him and some say he was banned from the state of Georgia or he simply refused to perform in the state during the American Civil Rights Movement.
J.Cole, Bèyonce, Kendrick Lamar, Usher, along with a few others all have made political charged statements or music with different degrees of reaction and we all should commend them for it. They could have easily taken the Young Thug route of “we having fun, we icy, getting route…leave that to the laws and critics” when presented with issues that cater to the same community from which they’re from. I’m not saying they should run for office, they’re not politicians, but their voices are often at times more powerful than that of an elected official. Pop Culture to me is one of the more powerful platforms any individual could use to influence the masses.
With that being said, in a time where 990 people were killed last year by police, whether if it’s justifiable or not, 2016 is on pace to see that number reach to 1,032 and according to The Washington Post, unarmed black man are 7 times more likely to die by police gunfire than whites. Already deemed a threat before the police even get a chance to see our identification. Already deemed a threat for selling mixtape C’Ds of our favorite artists.
So, do you think the prominent figures in sports and entertainment have any internal responsibility to atleast make a stand with those who stand and cheer for them?