“If every young person understood the power of their voice, things would be a lot different.” – Zendaya
Like you, many of your favorite stars are tired of society’s expectations and hypocrisies and certainly tired of keeping their mouths shut when it comes to defending themselves and their culture. Here are five times young Black celebs got bold and spoke out.
Being one of the deadliest mass shootings in recent U.S. history, the Las Vegas attack is still not being portrayed by mass media as terrorism. Why? Because this country still refuses to call it “terrorism” — Merriam-Webster defines it as, “the use of violent acts to frighten the people in an area” — when a white man is the killer. Zendaya did not have that problem, though. After the incident, she spoke out by sharing a video on Instagram highlighting a list the deadliest mass shootings in this country from the 1980s to the present. Her caption: “There is no post I can make that will heal the pain and heartache that is being felt in Las Vegas today, but we NEED to change. We can not continue to let this list grow. We can not grow accustom to waking up to this kind of terrorism in our country. We can not make this normal. How are we going to end gun violence?”
Speaking out against white supremacy in response to the domestic terror attack at the hate rally in Charlottesville, Virginia last August, Nia took to IG to make her thoughts known. She shared a photo of a group of anti-racism counterprotestors with the caption, “At a loss for words over what is happening in Virginia. One thing I do know — hatred cannot be tolerated.”
This past summer, 20-year old Olympic gold medalist Simone Biles Instagrammed a picture of herself chillin’ in her swimsuit in Hawaii. That’s all it took to rile up an internet troll who came for Simone and her vacay. Biles took the comment to Twitter and responded like a savage: “Talk to me when you train for 14 years and earn 5 Olympic Medals.” #Bloop.
Black-ish star Yara Shahidi is known to use the ‘gram to speak on social issues, and she did exactly that to #DefendDaca. Stating that she is “sick” of the “Cold War tactics” the White House is using to snatch coverage from POC and immigrants, the 17-year-old actress and activist solidified her point by letting people know that the “Policies being implemented under this administration are isolationist and ineffective. We will continue to defend DACA.”
The Hunger Games star is no stranger to voicing her opinions, especially when it comes to gender, race, and sexuality. And in this throwback example of keeping things all the way 100, Amandla put Kylie Jenner and her cornrows on blast with this comment directly on KJ’s selfie: “When u appropriate black features and culture but fail to use ur position of power to help black Americans by directing attention towards ur wigs instead of police brutality or racism.”