Ava Duverne, John Legend Sign Statement – Variety2 min read
A new group of black artists in the arts and entertainment called Black Artists of Freedom has published a culture commemorating Juniat on their website and calling for change in cultural institutions to eradicate racial injustice.
The collective is made up of more than a thousand black actors, musicians, filmmakers, writers, painters and poets, including Academy Award winners, Grammy, Tony and Pulitzer Prize winners. Tessa Thompson, Sterling K. Brown, Nicey Nash, Gabrielle Union, Trevor Noah, Ava Duverne, Barry Jenkins, Lena Weith, Lupita Nyango, David Wello and John Legend are all signies.
The statement, titled “Our Juniat,” was told today about Juniat’s holiday history and its importance in Krishna culture, through the assassinations of George Negro Floyd, Brecona Taylor and Ahmad Arberry, among other black citizens.
“It’s simple: blacks are not free yet. “Day after day, generation after generation, we are threatened, brutalized and killed by law enforcement and vigilantes,” the statement said. “When we hear ‘I can’t breathe’, we hear the voices of our children, parents, brothers, sisters, cousins. We listen to our elders and ancestors. We hear for ourselves, some day in the future. “
Then collectively the current Black Lives Matter protest movement and how it inspired them to speak out against racism in their arts and entertainment into
“The representation of blacks in the media has long been used to justify violence against us. The statement continues, “The racist bigotry of black crime, homosexuality, inevitable anger, hyper sexuality, pain resistance and much more are still reusable in books, movies and on the Internet today.” The statement continues. “Why are black people called for not claiming human rights? We don’t just want to correct or reduce racist culture. We aim to eradicate it.”
The statement then returns to the program, urging cultural institutions to sever ties with the police, to keep money where their mouths are, to support and educate blacks, and to fight for black freedom.
“We believe that culture will change only if certain concrete interventions are made. Cultural institutions that rely on black culture – publishing, writing, fashion, theater, film, television, visual arts, music, journalism, scholarship, education, social media – must commit to racial justice through discriminatory change, ”the statement said.
Read the full statement of freedom and the five demands of black artists here.