Black Lives Matter: 8 powerful messages on racism shared by celebrities

5 June 2020, 11:18 | Updated: 5 June 2020, 11:47

Celebrities have been speaking out in support of Black Lives Matter
Celebrities have been speaking out in support of Black Lives Matter. Picture: BBC/Instagram

As the Black Lives Matter movement continues to grow, here is a list of some of the most powerful quotes from celebrities.

The Black Lives Matter movement was founded in 2013 following the death of African-American teenager Trayvon Martin after he was shot while walking to a friend's house.

In the fight to end systemic racism, it calls for people to donate to relevant charities, take part in protests, and educate themselves and others on racial inequality.

Following the horrific death of George Floyd on May 25, people around the world have spoken out and shared their own experiences, while publicly rallying behind Black Lives Matter.

Read More: Meghan Markle speaks out on George Floyd's death in heartfelt speech

Heart.co.uk has put together a selection of some of the most poignant quotes from celebrities.

1. Michelle Obama

“Race and racism is a reality that so many of us grow up learning to just deal with. But if we ever hope to move past it, it can’t just be on people of colour to deal with it. It’s up to all of us – Black, white, everyone – no matter how well-meaning we think we might be, to do the honest, uncomfortable work of rooting it out. It starts with self-examination and listening to those whose lives are different from our own. It ends with justice, compassion, and empathy that manifests in our lives and on our streets. I pray we all have the strength for that journey, just as I pray for the souls and the families of those who were taken from us."

View this post on Instagram

Like so many of you, I’m pained by these recent tragedies. And I’m exhausted by a heartbreak that never seems to stop. Right now it’s George, Breonna, and Ahmaud. Before that it was Eric, Sandra, and Michael. It just goes on, and on, and on. Race and racism is a reality that so many of us grow up learning to just deal with. But if we ever hope to move past it, it can’t just be on people of color to deal with it. It’s up to all of us—Black, white, everyone—no matter how well-meaning we think we might be, to do the honest, uncomfortable work of rooting it out. It starts with self-examination and listening to those whose lives are different from our own. It ends with justice, compassion, and empathy that manifests in our lives and on our streets. I pray we all have the strength for that journey, just as I pray for the souls and the families of those who were taken from us. Artwork: @nikkolas_smith

A post shared by Michelle Obama (@michelleobama) on

2. Jade Thirlwall

"As a mixed race woman I want to say that I too understand my privileges and will constantly strive to do better for the Black community. Those not speaking up or taking action... your silence speaks VOLUMES. You can’t play ignorance, justified by feeling uncomfortable, when Black people have been made to feel uncomfortable their entire lives in a white privileged, systematically racist and unfair society that is more than happy to benefit from Black culture, but isn’t so happy in adhering to the ideals of equality and basic human rights."

Read More: Black Lives Matter: How you can support the anti-racism movement through charities, organisations, books and TV

3. Alison Hammond

“I'm a mother to a 15-year-old black boy, so when I saw that image of George Floyd I saw my brothers, I saw my father, I saw my son - I saw everybody's son and I was disgusted to my core.It hurt me to the pit of my stomach to think that this is 2020 and we're seeing that, and let's be honest it's been going on for my whole life, my mum's life, my father's life.

"I believe this movement, Black Lives Matter, is so very important, and it's so wonderful to see my white and Asian brothers and sisters standing by Black Lives Matter because it means they understand. They can't understand fully, but they understand what we are going through as black people.

"I'm not trying to offend white people, if you are offended by it then you need to look within yourself.It's not about all lives matter, obviously we know that, it's about the fact that if black lives mattered we wouldn't be in this situation now. When black lives matter, all lives will matter."

Alison Hammond has said she fears for her son
Alison Hammond has said she fears for her son. Picture: Instagram

4. Beyoncé

"We need justice for George Floyd. We all witnessed his murder in broad daylight. We're broken and we're disgusted, we cannot normalise this pain. No more senseless killings of human beings. No more seeing people of colour as less than human. We can no longer look away."

5. Meghan Markle

"The only wrong thing to say is to say nothing – because George Floyd's life mattered and Breonna Taylor's life mattered and Philando Castile's life mattered and Tamir Rice's life mattered... and so many other people's, whose names we know and whose names we do not know. Stephon Clark, his life mattered."

6. Harry Styles

"I do things every day without fear, because I am privileged, and I am privileged every day because I am white. Being not racist is not enough, we must be anti racist. Social change is enacted when a society mobilises. I stand in solidarity with all of those protesting. I’m donating to help post bail for arrested organisers. Look inwards, educate yourself and others."

7. Lizzo

"Protest is not the end of progress, it is the beginning. I wonder what would happen if all the big companies and celebrities who have showed support on social media came out and used their platform to let activists and protesters speak and be seen?... Cities are burning, are you watching? I stand with Minneapolis. I believe in us. Change is gonna come."

8. Perrie Edwards

"As a white person living in the UK, it's very easy to look at the #BlackLivesMatter movement and believe it doesn't affect you. Feel that it's not your place to comment or get involved... What's not so easy is to scroll past an innocent man being pinned to the floor, struggling and begging for his last breath... How can any human being, no matter your race, age, gender, not be deeply affected by that? I have been deeply affected by it... I acknowledge my white privilege and instead of allowing it to put a muzzle on me, I will use it to speak up for what is right and what is wrong."