Following on from the death of two African American men at the hands of US police in the space of 24 hours last week, Alicia Keys has recruited Beyonce, Rihanna and many other prominent voices in the entertainment industry to speak as part of a video detailing the #23 Ways You Could Be Killed If You Are Black In America, made in collaboration with the We Are Here Movement and Mic.
While you may have heard of the two men killed last week – 37-year-old Alton Sterling who was shot multiple times by two police officers outside a convenience store in Louisiana while restrained, and 32-year-old Philando Castile who was shot in front of his partner and her four-year-old daughter while reaching for his wallet after being stopped by a police officer in while driving – as this video makes clear, the problem extends far beyond these recent and tragic killings.
Along with Beyoncé and RiRi, Chance the Rapper, Pharrell Williams, Common, Bono and more participated in the video, counting the numerous innocuous and incomprehensible circumstances in which black Americans have been killed by law enforcement. From “wearing a hoodie” and “walking away from police” to just “laughing” or “making eye contact” the video is a moving and sombre reminder of just how pervasive the problem is, and how hard it must be for African Americans to feel safe on their own streets and in their own homes.
Directing viewers to visit the We Are Movement website and sign a petition urging the United States Congress to “right our historic wrongs and heal the wounds of systemic racism so that all Americans have the equal right to pursue happiness”, you can watch it for yourself here.
Watch: We Are Here Movement – #23 Ways You Could Be Killed If You Are Black In America