If you’ve ever heard the names Trayvon Martin, Sandra Bland, and Eric Garner, then chances are high that you’ve heard of the #BlackLivesMatter movement. What began as a small group of protesters aiming to reduce incidents of police violence toward African Americans has quickly become a worldwide movement. In nearly every city, you can find a chapter of BLM supporters who are working everyday to achieve equality in the United States. Hollywood is no exception. Countless stars have taken a stand in the fight for justice, and many more continue to join each day. Here are twenty celebrities who have fearlessly supported the #BlackLivesMatter movement.
Samuel L. Jackson
Inspired by the “Ice Bucket Challenge” of summer 2014, Samuel L. Jackson issued his own challenge to celebrities worldwide. He encouraged them to record themselves singing the words “I can’t breathe,” to honor the life of Eric Garner and raise awareness for police brutality. It didn’t take off with the same type of fervor of the Ice Bucket Challenge.
When Serena Williams won her 22nd Grand Slam title at Wimbledon this year, she paused for a moment, faced the crowd, and raised her right wrist in celebration. Since the 1968 Olympics, this has served as a sign of black power and equality in America. In a quiet way, Williams used to her position on the international stage to further the BLM cause.
Who knew that Bennett was interested in social justice?! Matt McGorry, who famously plays prison guard John Bennett on “Orange is the New Black,” has used Twitter as a platform to show his support for the BLM movement and his disdain for the increasingly popular #AllLivesMatter movement.
You’ll see another Twitter-advocate coming up!
Not all celebrities are supporters of Black Lives Matter. Chris Brown has loudly expressed his belief that #AllLivesMatter, much to the disappointment of his many fans. It’s a controversial stand but at least he is supporting people in general. Up next is another star who hasn’t backed BLM.
19-year-old Prince Jackson, the son of the late king of pop, Michael Jackson, has controversially posted a series of tweets using the hashtag #AllLivesMatter. Many critics believe that saying “All Lives Matter” minimizes the power of the movement and shifts the focus away from black people. It’s definitely a controversial stand to take regardless of your race.
Stepford Wives star Bette Midler has not been quiet about her gusto for the Black Lives Matter movement! She has gone so far as to share, and contribute to, several articles discussing the importance of equality and criticizing All Lives Matter supporters for diminishing the role BLM is having on the lives of millions of Americans.
Former US Secretary of State and presidential hopeful Hillary Clinton has strongly supported the BLM movement since its genesis. She has stated that this is an important time in the history of the country and called for Americans to support the protesters. It is expected that she will maintain this stand through the 2016 election cycle.
Businessman and reality TV star turned presidential candidate Donald Trump has not only expressed that #AllLivesMatter, but that he does not want to support the #BlackLivesMatter movement. He has stated that the BLM movement in “inherently racist and divisive.” This is an interesting point, but many experts have debunked this myth!
Jay Z has used the wealth he earned through rapping and investing to financially contribute to the Black Lives Matter movement. In addition, he and his wife Beyoncé can often be spotted at protests around the country.
Read on to the end to find out what else Beyoncé does for the effort!
The “Rise” singer has been very vocal in her encouragement of Black Lives Matter. Most of her work has been through social media, though some protesters say that she has taken the time to personally reach out to them. She has always sung about reaching your own potential and feeling comfortable in your own skin, so her support for BLM makes 100% sense. Well done, Katy!
Disney sweetheart no more! Raven-Symoné has expressed her support of the All Lives Matter movement on her show “The View.” Known for her controversial opinions, this was hardly a surprise to many. She took a lot of negative abuse on Twitter because of her decision to back ALM over the Black Lives Matter campaign. Up next is another female star!
Kim Kardashian West
Good ole’ Kim K has taken her support for Black Lives Matter a little further than most! She penned an extended essay on the importance of the movement and posted it to her website. She has said that the violence against black people has made her “speechless, angry, and numb.”
Coming up later in the list: another member of her family!
Performer and dancer Zendaya has publicly taken a stand in support of #BlackLivesMatter. However, some have criticized her by saying that her biracial background disqualifies her from supporting the movement. She has called these claims “ridiculous,” and continued to stand up for what she believes in without listening to all of her misguided haters!
Producer and director Shonda Rhimes has reached out to her huge fandom and encouraged them to support Black Lives Matter in any way they can. After the police shooting in Dallas in June, Rhimes issued a statement slamming those who said Black Lives Matter was to blame for the shockingly violent act.
Bellamy Young of “Scandal” fame, is another celebrity who has used Twitter to show her support for the Black Lives Matter movement. Of course, given her roles in several of Shonda Rhimes’ shows, this makes sense. Rhimes is also a strong supporter of the Black Lives Matter movement and has expressed her full support for everyone involved.
Another celebrity who has spoken out against the Black Lives Matter movement is Fetty Wap. He has tweeted things like, “My kids are mixed… #AllLivesMatter,” and he has faced a lot of criticism for his comments. However, he later apologized for his words and said that he is attempting to be more culturally sensitive moving forward.
Former teenage heartthrob Justin Timberlake has also used his financial assets to support the Black Lives Matter movement. In addition to donating money, he has attended protests and used his massive social media presence to express his sympathy to the families who have lost children due to police brutality. Way to go, Justin!
Stacey Dash is perhaps the most outspoken supporter of the All Lives Matter movement. In her charged tweets, she has criticized Black Lives Matter protesters and called for an end to Black History Month and the BET awards. Needless to say, she has faced plenty of angry fans! We can see why they might be pretty peeved with her at this point.
Tyga has also been a supporter of Black Lives Matter, but some have criticized him for being anti-police because of the messages he has attempted to spread around social media. Still, he has consistently tweeted his enthusiasm about BLM, despite others’ claims that he is not qualified to speak on the matter. Either way, kudos to him for sticking with what he believes in during some pretty serious criticism.
Beyoncé invoked some serious Black Lives Matter imagery during her 2015 Grammys performance. As she serenaded the crowd with the gospel-inspired “Take My Hand, Precious Lord,” her backup singers raised their arms as a sign of support for the “Hands Up, Don’t Shoot” protests taking place around the country. It was a powerful message delivered to millions of viewers in real-time.