Stormzy announces £10 million donation to Black British organisations and charities

While other celebrities were recording videos about how sad they feel, Stormzy opened his purse. We love to see it.

by Roisin Lanigan
12 June 2020, 10:59am

Photography Oliver Hadlee Pearch

In the past few months the celebrities have really been on a mad one. First they recorded that video of a bunch of richos singing John Lennon’s “Imagine” a cappella in the early days of the pandemic, and the world was like “open your purse?” Then, in the wake of Black Lives Matter protests taking place across the world and a renewed, overdue attention on structural racial injustice, the bunch of richos recorded another video of them speaking to camera about how guilty they feel, as white people, and the world was like “open your purse???” There are though, in the midst of all the tone deaf responses from the wealthy and famous, some instances of celebrities using their considerable platform to actually enact positive change.

Yesterday, Stormzy led the charge on just that, announcing an incredible £10 million donation to Black British causes, organisations and charities. The money will go towards a variety of movements fighting against racial inequality and for justice reform and Black empowerment in Britain.

“The uncomfortable truth that our country continuously fails to recognise and admit is that Black people in the UK have been at a constant disadvantage in every aspect of life -- simply due to the colour of their skin,” Stormzy said in a statement yesterday. “I’m lucky enough to be in the position I’m in and I’ve heard people often dismiss the idea of racism existing in Britain by saying, ‘if the country’s so racist, how have you become a success?!’ and I reject that with this: I am not the UK’s shining example of what supposedly happens when a black person works hard.”

This is not the first time the musician has put his money where his mouth is on fighting racial inequalities embedded in the culture of the United Kingdom. His publishing imprint Merky Books aims to champion underrepresented voices in literature, and in 2018 he launched a scholarship programme for Black students applying to Cambridge University, to support them throughout the full four years of their degree.

“There are millions of us,” Stormzy’s statement yesterday continued. “We are not far and few. We have to fight against the odds of a racist system stacked against us and designed for us to fail from before we are even born. Black people have been playing on an uneven field for far too long and this pledge is a continuation in the fight to finally try and even it.”

The mammoth donation will be spread over the course of the next ten years, which will hopefully be instrumental in helping to ensure that our society’s current focus on the Black Lives Matter cause does not subside into inaction once the news cycle moves on. It is, he emphasised, a lifetime commitment.

There’s never been more of an argument to tear down that shite Winston Churchill statue and replace it with one of Stormzy. I said what I said.