John Boyega and Keke Palmer Firmly Speak Truths at #BlackLivesMatter Protests

As protests around the world continue in response to the killings of David McAteeGeorge FloydBreonna Taylor and Ahmaud Arbery, powerful, moving demonstrations are inspiring millions.

Two of the latest: Actors John Boyega and Keke Palmer boldly standing in their truths.

Boyega attended a large protest in London on Wednesday and adamantly spoke about the importance of Black lives and the movement sweeping the globe.

“Black lives have always mattered. We have always been important. We have always meant something. We have always succeeded regardless. And now is the time. I ain’t waiting. I ain’t waiting.”

Over the course of an almost five-minute speech, Boyega mentioned Floyd, Sandra Bland, Trayvon Martin, Stephen Lawrence and Mark Duggan.

With tears in his eyes, he urged Black men to take care of Black women.

“Black men we need to take care of our Black women. They are ours. They are our hearts. They are our future. We can not demonize our own.”

See his full speech below:

Across the pond in Los Angeles a day earlier, Palmer asked National Guard troops to march with protestors.

“We have a president that’s trying to incite a war,” said Palmer as she explained the direness of what’s occurring in America.

When one of the troops reached out to shake Palmer’s hand, she didn’t shake his and reiterated that she was requesting them to march alongside the protestors. 

The same troop said he could walk a block, but that he couldn’t leave the people, and later mentioned businesses, he was protecting in the intersection.

Palmer again declined his offer and reiterated her request.

After the troop repeatedly refused, another protestor asked him to kneel. Multiple troops kneeled, but Palmer persistently declared, “That ain’t enough for me.”

See the full occurrence below:

On Wednesday, Palmer joined her fellow Good Morning America journalist Robin Roberts and double-downed on her position.

“Though the kneeling can be seen as a walk in the same direction, we all can also see just moments after some of the cities where we’ve seen the kneeling we’ve seen the tear gassing and chaos afterward,” said Palmer to Roberts.

And she’s completely right. There are several stories of police officers and National Guard troops around the globe more focused on inciting violence than protecting peaceful gatherings.

Attorney T. Greg Doucette started a thread on Twitter showcasing those violent incidents from police now boasting over 200 recorded incidents.

In response to Attorney’s Doucette’s thread, Mathematician Manuchehr Aminian built a map showcasing where the violence from police has been occurring. And not shockingly, most reported incidents have occurred in Los Angeles.

So yes Palmer, kneeling is not enough.

And yes Boyega, we have to love our own first. It’s crucial and vital to our success.

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Bryant Lydell

Bryant Lydell is creative, personable and quick-witted Howard and USC alum. He's the founder of The Top Tea, a songwriter, screenwriter and member of the casting team for Netflix's NAACP Image Award-winning hip-hop competition series Rhythm + Flow.

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