John Boyega gave a powerful speech about racism at London’s BLM protest
The actor told crowds gathered in Hyde Park: “I’m speaking to you from my heart. Look, I don’t know if I’m going to have a career after this, but fuck that.”
Photo by Justin Setterfield/Getty Images
Today thousands of people gathered in London’s Hyde Park for the latest in a series of protests held in solidarity with George Floyd and the Black Lives Matter movement in the USA. Among those gathered this afternoon was actor John Boyega, who gave a powerful speech about racism.
After thanking protestors for coming out, the actor spoke passionately about the history and impact of racism in both the UK and USA. “We are a physical representation of our support for George Floyd," he told crowds through a megaphone. "We are a physical representation of our support for Sandra Bland. We are a physical representation of our support for Trayvon Martin. We are a physical representation of our support for Stephen Lawrence.”
“Today is about innocent people who were halfway through their process, we don’t know what George Floyd could have achieved, we don’t know what Sandra Bland could have achieved, but today we’re going to make sure that won’t be an alien thought to our young ones.”
John is the most recent celebrity seen in the midst of the protests taking place across the world and the latest using their platform in a positive, useful way. Yesterday actor Keke Palmer was seen on the frontlines of demonstrations in LA challenging National Guardsmen to take a knee with protestors and march beside them. “We need you,” she said in a video posted to Twitter. “So march with us. March beside us. You get your people. March beside us. March beside us. Let the revolution be televised.”
John also used his speech today to reflect on the backlash young Black celebrities suffer for speaking out on racial injustice. “I’m speaking to you from my heart. Look, I don’t know if I’m going to have a career after this, but fuck that,” he said. “I need you to understand how painful this shit is,” he went on, visibly emotional. “I need you to understand how painful it is to be reminded every day that your race means nothing and that isn’t the case anymore. That was never the case.”