Should Black Celebrities Speak on Social Issues?

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Leave that up with the critics and laws and all that ol ‘explicative.’”

That isn’t necessarily a response someone would expect from an expert in regards to issues within the Black community. This statement was actually made by famous rapper Young Thug. While some may consider his comment offensive or even funny, it does bring up a good question: Should Black celebrities speak on the issues affecting the African American community?

There’s already a variety of famous Black people that speak on social issues pertaining to African Americans. Their comments, however, are usually only during periods of racial turmoil; specifically when Blacks are the victims of overt racism. The situations with Donald Sterling, Riley Cooper and Paula Deen are the first to come to many people’s mind. These celebrities usually criticize the racist briefly and then shift the conversation to the problem with Blacks. There are very few public figures who give genuine assessments of the problems within the community.

Some people argue that despite their fame, Black celebrities are not obligated to speak on issues within the community. They are paid to do a specific job and that’s it. The responsibility they have to address issues within the Black community is no more than any other person who’s not rich and famous. Others will argue that based on the unique predicament of African Americans within this country, these celebrities should to use their statuses as a platform to help with the problems.

Regardless of where anyone stands, they’d have to acknowledge the fact that most celebrities received their statuses from the same sources of power Blacks are often at odds with. The idea these figures would risk their success to challenge that power is unlikely. In fact, some will even defend it.

For this reason, it makes sense for Blacks to create and support media outlets dedicated to their own causes. The more control African Americans have on their media sources, the less dependent they are on public figures controlled by outside forces. These outlets can also serve as tools to challenge those using their status to defend White Supremacy.

 

Kevin White

 

18 thoughts on “Should Black Celebrities Speak on Social Issues?

  1. Jacques Ellison says:

    Yes, because they have a platform to speak to a wider audience which creates dialect among the masses. More importantly they are faced with the same issues just not always on the same level.

  2. hoophoophoot says:

    Sometimes I don’t want celebrities speaking on social issues because there are often better educated (traditional and non-traditional) people that have been working on these issues for decades that are better equipped to speak out. I work in public health and I see plenty of celebrities selling waist trainers, or trying to educate black women on weight loss going against all of the best practices which have been academically proven to help this specific population of women lose weight. But, what they push is true and everything else is background noise. Also, when “regular” people speak on social issues, their past/present is largely not taken in to account. When a celebrity does, the opposition tries to bring up any dirt that they can in order to debunk their argument. Look at when Michelle Obama tried to go against sugar laden food, the opposition now pointed out every time she ate a hamburger or a slice of cake. I think that they can support a cause by pointing their fans to the real voices they should listen to.

  3. Jessica says:

    To much is given much is expected. First We must remember that we help people in reaching their celebrity status by who we support and give attention to. No we can’t control who is given the spotlight but we have the power not to support negative images of ourselves. Our social leaders have to be celebrities in their own right to reach the people. Think about the impacts made by Tupac, Bob Marley, James Brown, and Ali on making blacks more proud and conscious and speaking on our social injustice. We must support the right type of celebrities that will also speak on social issues. They can’t be on the front lines, but they have to get the message out.

  4. Michael says:

    If you can articulate the issues and not be a total mush mouth then absolutely yes as entertainers have a wider platform. That being said I would say 90% of our black entertainment are not very bright and honestly probably dont care about the issues.

  5. Mazi says:

    We can’t ask those entertainers to do or say anything because, WHITE FOLKS/CORPORATIONS pay the black entertainers and control their money. That’s why Steve Harvey had to bow down and let Paula Dean do her bidding.. Smh..

  6. Michael2608 says:

    I say no. Because at the end of the day, when a person stand up and bold against them. And they decide to tare this person down. The black community will not support that person who stood up for them. Instead they talk with no action. Maybe even laugh about the fact you fell off. Won’t even take the time to set up a go fund me account, nat along donate.

  7. MIchael says:

    I believe they have an obligation to speak on social issues. Though I realize that there are some Black celebs out there who are more likely to embarrass the Black community when put in front of the camera. If you are a Black celebrity who happens to not be articulate, then a simply tweet with a #convictdarrenwilson for example can be good enough. For those who are articulate, then get camera time and say more. The bigger the celebrity the more focus and seriousness that will be brought to the situation. When need Black celebrities from all walks of life to speak on our issues. A united front is a strong one.

  8. taj says:

    i saw Ciara saying some pretty dumb stuff on some show about race but here’s thing…

    they know she’s not the one to go to for answers on race.

    It’s simple if you don’t know what your talking about don’t say shit. so i kind of feel Young thug

  9. Lakieta says:

    I don’t think black celebrities should speak out. They are in danger of losing everything if they begin to speak out on black issues. It’s better that they work under cover. Look at how white supremacy works, no one is walking around wearing hoods. They are walking around in suits and ties you don’t know who they are. We need to be the exact same way, work under to cover.

  10. Rashnu says:

    Concerning rappers: yes, they should speak on social issues. A lot of them are taking and benefitting from using Hip-Hop culture, but they don’t represent Hip-Hop culture and its values (as defined by Afrika Bambaataa) and don’t pay respect to the pioneers’ and the purpose they had in mind for the culture.

    Celebreties that don’t want to be outspoken should at least find some low-profile ways to contribute. When Black celebrities have an opportunity to speak out, it would be nice if they would do so. But since we are still under the system of white supremacy, don’t count on it. It’s like the “house slave” analogy: the house slave may have a few extra privileges and crumbs, but he/she is still a slave.

  11. Robert says:

    No, black athletes and rappers should not speak on such issues since they’re too stupid and infatuated with money. Their fans call for them to make blanket statements but truth is, rappers and athletes don’t know shits.

  12. Kim says:

    What the hell is loosiing everything if we dont have a clue about the game we playing in? You already lost. The fact is you have to be seduced first by what’s offered. Then agree to not get involved or make a joke of the current event.
    Our problems are serious..”Those that choose to ignore the past and see no need of change will be damn to repeat it”

  13. Danny says:

    Bomani Jones is one of the few famous guys who isn’t afraid to speak on race and other social issues. He is educated and articulate in getting his points across.

  14. LeEdda says:

    Honestly, I could care less if they said anything or not. I understand the position that they are in and action speaks louder thank words any day. If they took their profits and poured them back into the community than no words would be needed. Take the white dollar and empower your community. The white community is secretive and supports their own, so why cant we be as well.

  15. MoorMauri says:

    Yes they should, and I also hold them accountable for being educated on the issues that they are speaking on and representing everyone that supports them. Forgive me if that mixes politics with entertainment, but at this point I can’t really tell the difference.

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  18. Objective Hater says:

    Y’all expect way too much from these rappers. I mean damn, this coon calls himself “Young Thug”; you really thought someone like him was gonna drop some knowledge on this issue?

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