Alicia Keys, Mic and the We Are Here Movement have joined together, along with dozens of high-profile celebrities, to make a powerful PSA titled “23 Ways You Could Be Killed If You Are Black In America.”
Keys, along with Beyoncé, Rihanna, Common, Chris Rock, Taraji P. Henson and many other recognizable faces (Bono, Pink, Kevin Hart, Jennifer Hudson and Jada Pinkett Smith to name a few) each describe simple things that could result in you being murdered if you decide to venture outside of your home as a Black person in America.
Along with individual celebs reciting a list of seemingly innocuous activities such as “failing to signal a lane change,” “riding a commuter train,” “walking home with a friend” and “wearing a hoodie,” there are pictures and names of black men and women who have lost their lives for the above-mentioned “offenses” and more.
Jamilah King, senior staff writer for Mic, wrote:
Beyoncé and Kendrick Lamar created a soundtrack for black liberation in our time. It’s beautiful. It’s powerful. It’s proof that the ordinary is not impossible. That our lives are worth celebrating. That our deaths are worth mourning. That we are better than our worst moments.
It’s moving to see that celebrities have taken charge of telling this story. What we’re seeing now are black entertainers — singers, actors, athletes and artists who are deeply in tune with what’s happening in the United States — speaking out, taking action.
Too often, the ordinary seems impossible for black folks in America. Violence follows everywhere — driving down the street, or selling CDs, or playing in a park, or sleeping on our grandmothers’ sofa. We become suspects in our own deaths, tried and executed by those sworn and paid to protect us.
We must tell the world that our lives matter no matter how controversial that point has become.
“We demand radical transformation to heal the long history of systemic racism so that all Americans have the equal right to live and to pursue happiness,” Alicia Keys says in the closing moments of the 3-minute video clip.
Keys also urges people to go to WEAREHEREMOVEMENT.com, where you can add your name to a petition “to tell President Obama and Congress that the time for change is now.” The message continues, “We must right our historic wrongs and heal the wounds of systemic racism so that all Americans have the equal right to pursue happiness.”