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It’s easy to call out a celebrity for doing nothing for the black community, but what about those who are doing great things? We asked some readers to tell us which black celebrities are doing the most for the black community. The list is below and you can tell us what you think:
1) Jamie Foxx – Jamie’s activism has been astonishing. He not only stood up for the family of Trayvon Martin, he also spoke up against celebrities who weren’t doing anything for black people. Way to go Jamie.
2) Jim Brown – Jim has been a warrior for truth and justice since his playing days many years ago. But with athletes being as weak as they are right now, who’s going to take his place?
3) Harry Belafonte – Well into his 80s, Harry is a trailblazer in every regard. He has spoken out on matters of social justice long before it was safe to do so, often putting his career on the line to make a stand. There is no other entertainer like him.
4) Spike lee – Spike might be a little rough at times, but all that he says about black people comes from a place of love. Who else in Hollywood is telling the black story in an ethical way? And no, we’re not talking about all those slave movies.
5) Stevie Wonder – Remember when Stevie Wonder spoke up against Stand Your Ground and agreed to boycott all states that have that law? That was a pretty bold position for him to take and probably cost him a lot of money. Stevie, we love you.
6) Nina Simone – This Warrior queen is unlike any other, even after passing into the afterlife. So, she’s the one celebrity we had to bring back from the ancestors in order to acknowledge her contribution. Simone regularly used her platform as an opportunity to advocate for the fight against Jim Crow. She also didn’t believe in marching in peace; she was ok with a little violence to get the job done.
7) Kanye West – Kanye is on his own planet half the time, but you have to give him credit for the song “New Slaves” as a way to speak out against the prison industrial complex. Also, remember when he boldly proclaimed that “George Bush doesn’t care about black people?” That was classic.
8) Dick Gregory – Not just a comedian, Gregory has taken a stand for the black community for many decades and will continue to do so until his last days on earth.
9) Paul Mooney – To us, he’s a younger version of Dick Gregory and carrying the torch quite well. Paul isn’t ashamed to talk about the black struggle in America, which is why he’s less famous than he should be.
10) Louis Farrakhan – Both a celebrity and a leader, the founder of the Nation of Islam does and says things that no other black leader is able to do. He is also the only public figure capable of pulling together a million black men in a call for standing up for their families. This was epic.
11) Russell Simmons – This pick is controversial, because he’s made mistakes. But there is no celebrity in the world who has done more to fight against the prison industrial complex and the War on Drugs. Russell got the Rockefeller Drug Laws changed in New York and also got Attorney General Eric Holder to revisit the prison problem nation-wide. He has to be given credit for these accomplishments, even if he stepped over the line with that Harriet Tubman video, which threatened to ruin his legacy.
12) Chuck D. – Wouldn’t it be nice if Chuck D was still in control of hip-hop? But the government would never allow that. He had too much power and too much intelligence. Now that hip-hop has been dumbed down, those who fear black people are safe, for now.
13) Magic Johnson – This celeb puts businesses in neighborhoods that other companies won’t go. He also uses his business skill to elevate impoverished communities. Let’s hear it for Magic Johnson, who is far more than another former athlete.