When the Oscars won’t honor the great African Americans who are making strides in the film industry, what else is there to do but implicitly protest the award show?
On Febraury 28th, many celebrities like Ava DuVernay, Ryan Coogler, Janelle Monae, Jesse Williams, and Hannibal Burress will attend the #JUSTICEFORFLINT protest at the Whiting Auditorium in Flint, Michigan. This protest, of course, falls on the same night as the Academy Awards.
#JUSTICEFORFLINT is being organized by Blackout for Human Rights which is an activist group, founded by Ryan Coogler, that focuses on protecting human rights in the United States. Hannibal Burress has signed on to host the event.
Coogler released a statement to Buzzfeed News saying, “With the #JUSTICEFORFLINT benefit event we will give a voice to the members of the community who were the victims of the choices of people in power who are paid to protect them, as well as provide them with a night of entertainment, unity, and emotional healing.” For those who choose to live stream the event, there will be a chance to support the cause by donating.
This event was birthed from the event that happened on Martin Luther King Day, #MLKNOW, which was put on in honor of Black History Month. That event took place at the Riverside Baptist Church in Harlem, New York and saw more than 2,200 people in attendance and almost half a million views on the Internet.
These aforementioned celebrities have created a way to protest two issues at the same time: the water crisis in Flint, Michigan and diversity representation in Hollywood. Well done, guys.
The water crisis continues to be a tragedy. Many officials have resigned or have been removed from their positions due to a complete disregard and negligence for Flint residents. The city of Flint needs all of the resources that it can get at this point in order to restore the community to a safe place for all men, women, and children.
Organizations such as Coogler’s create a foundation to rectify what the Flint, Michigan government failed to do.
Make sure you live stream the event on February 28th, if you are not watching the Oscars.
(Photo by Earl Gibson/BET/Getty Images for BET)