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​from black excellence to planned parenthood, celebrities get political on the eve of trump’s presidency

Atlanta rapper T.I. writes an open letter to Trump, Anohni teams up with CocoRosie for a protest song, and Jennifer Lawrence, Hari Nef, Meryl Streep and more appear in 100 years of Planned Parenthood film produced by Lena Dunham.

by Charlotte Gush
|
17 January 2017, 9:42pm

As the world prepares to welcome Donald Trump to the White House with varying levels of despair this Friday, celebrities are speaking up about the causes that matter to them most.

T.I's open letter to Donald Trump

In an open letter to Donald Trump published by Rolling Stone, Atlanta rapper T.I. (Tip Harris) asks the president elect "When the stage is dark and the lights and cameras are off … Who are you? And more importantly, who do you want to be?". Highlighting the the poor conditions many black communities face in America ("poisonous water systems, failing schools, broken criminal justice systems, lack of decent healthcare and affordable housing, all while scraping for a basic living wage"), Harris writes about how the 'darkness' that results from these conditions causes social issues.

"All we've ever wanted was equality and empathy as the historically disenfranchised citizens that we are, in a nation that we've contributed to just as much as anyone else who calls America their home," Harris writes, emphasising black creative excellence: "We've helped to mold the arts and culture of this country, as well as help build, create and contribute to its greatness, in spite of it all. From an economic perspective, our community's buying power is THE strongest of all consumers. Yet we're shown repeatedly that our lives don't matter as much as our dollars, let alone as that of a person of a different race or skin color. These basic human rights of freedom and equality are ones that EVERY RELIGIOUS BOOK of reference says is a GOD-GIVEN right that should be fought for and defended."

100 Years of Planned Parenthood

A film produced by Lena Dunham celebrates the 100 year history of Planned Parenthood, presenting the "story of the incredible women who sacrificed everything to bring us safe and affordable reproductive healthcare" in America. The animated short traces the work of originator Margaret Sanger, who became politically active after caring for a patient whose botched abortion eventually led to her death. Narrated by stars including Jennifer Lawrence, Hari Nef, Meryl Streep, America Ferrera, Constance Wu and Mindy Kaling, the film touches on historic legal battles such as Row vs Wade, deals with the founder's awkward history with eugenics and also highlights how Faye Wattleton, the youngest and first black president, shaped the politics of the modern organisation. #IStandwithPP

CocoRosie x Anohni

Serving major tarot-reader/club-kid/future-feminist realness in the promo shot, CocoRosie have teamed up with Anohni for a deceptively cheerful new song, Smoke 'Em Out, released "to inspire the weary-disappointed hearts of so many crest-fallen citizens". Bianca and Sierra Casady explain that, while they're still working on a new album, "Smoke 'em Out begged to be turned loose on the world now, as a means of participation during these turbulent yet invigorating times… Smoke 'Em Out welcomes the new character who will be occupying the White House with a mob of women and children armed with forks and knives. In the wake of this unnatural disaster, we feel a call to rise, shout, and burn the house down". They sign off: "'The future is female' and a very necessary force to be reckoned with." Right on!

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Text Charlotte Gush