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The stars sharing powerful messages to support the Black Lives Matter movement

Including Beyoncé, Jennifer Lopez and Michelle Obama

jlo beyonce and michelle obama
Updated: June 4, 2020
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Following the devastating death of George Floyd, celebrities from Beyoncé to Jennifer Lopez have been using their social media platforms to raise awareness and demand justice for the 46-year-old's senseless death. George died on 25 May in Minneapolis after police officer Derek Chauvin knelt on his neck, even after he pleaded that he couldn't breathe. #BlackLivesMatter protests have been held across the US and around the world, in London and Berlin, against the killing of George and many other victims due to racism and police brutality.

As well as using their platforms to post messages of support for George's family, a host of stars have drawn attention to the GoFundMe page for the Floyd family, to the Black Lives Matter movement and to resources to help followers with anti-racism education. Donate to the Minnesota Freedom Fund here.

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Meghan Markle

Meghan Markle gave a moving speech discussing the Black Lives Matter movement in the wake of George Floyd's death. Addressing graduating students at her old school, the Immaculate Heart High School, the mother-of-one said: "What is happening in our country and in our state and in our hometown of LA, has been absolutely devastating. I wasn't sure what I could say to you. I wanted to say the right thing and I was really nervous that I wouldn't, or it would get picked apart. And I realised the only wrong thing to say is to say nothing, because George Floyd's life mattered, and Breonna Taylor's life mattered and Philando Castile's life mattered and Tamir Rice's life mattered, and so did so many other people whose names we know and whose names we do not know."

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John Boyega

Star Wars actor John Boyega led the protests in London, giving a powerful and emotional speech, where he encouraged people to stay peaceful and to end racism. He said: "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."

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Clara Amfo

BBC Radio 1's Clara Amfo was overcome with emotion during her radio show while discussing her mental health in the wake of George Floyd's death. In the moving speech, she said: "And seeing what happened to George, we, black people, get the feeling that people want our culture but they do not want us. […] One of my favourite thinkers is a woman called Amanda Seales and she says 'You cannot enjoy rhythm but ignore the blues' and I say that with my chest."

Clara ended by saying: "I wanna say to our black listeners, I hope you are seen and heard today and to those of you that have already let me know that you are doing the work to be committed to doing better, I see you. Let's do this, let's all be anti-racist."

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Beyoncé and Jay-Z

On Instagram, Beyoncé uploaded a video of herself speaking about George Floyd’s death. "We need justice for George Floyd," she said. "We all witnessed his murder in broad daylight. We're broken and we're disgusted. We cannot normalize this pain. I'm not only speaking to people of colour; if you're white, black, brown or anything in-between, I'm sure you feel hopeless by the racism going on in America right now. No more senseless killing of human beings, no more seeing people of colour as less than human. We can no longer look away. George is all of our family in humanity. He's our family because he's a fellow American."

Jay-Z, meanwhile, released a powerful statement calling for justice for George Floyd. After calling Minnesota Governor Tim Waltz, the rapper wrote on Roc Nation: "Earlier today, Governor Waltz mentioned having a human conversation with me – a dad and a black man in pain. Yes, I am human, a father and a black man in pain and I am not the only one. Now I, along with an entire country in pain, call upon AG Ellison to do the right thing and prosecute all those responsible for the murder of George Floyd to the fullest extent of the law. I am more determined to fight for justice than any fight my would-be oppressors may have. I prevail on every politician, prosecutor and officer in the country to have the courage to do what is right. Have the courage to look at us as humans, dads, brothers, sisters, and mothers in pain. And look at yourselves."

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Barack and Michelle Obama

Former President of the United States Barack Obama released a statement on the death of George Floyd on Friday, where he expressed the anguish he and millions of others feel. He wrote: "It's natural to wish for life 'to just get back to normal' as a pandemic and economic crisis upend everything around us. But we have to remember that for millions of Americans, being treated differently on account of race is tragically, painfully, maddeningly 'normal' – whether it’s while dealing with the health care system, or interacting with the criminal justice system, or jogging down the street, or just watching birds in a park.⁣ ⁣⁣This shouldn’t be 'normal' in 2020 America. It can’t be 'normal.' If we want our children to grow up in a nation that lives up to its highest ideals, we can and must be better.⁣"

Michelle, meanwhile, shared a portrait of George Floyd by artist Nikkolas Smith, alongside the message: "Like so many of you, I’m pained by these recent tragedies. And I’m exhausted by a heartbreak that never seems to stop. Right now it’s George, Breonna, and Ahmaud. Before that it was Eric, Sandra, and Michael. It just goes on, and on, and on. Race and racism is a reality that so many of us grow up learning to just deal with. But if we ever hope to move past it, it can’t just be on people of color to deal with it. It’s up to all of us—Black, white, everyone—no matter how well-meaning we think we might be, to do the honest, uncomfortable work of rooting it out. It starts with self-examination and listening to those whose lives are different from our own. It ends with justice, compassion, and empathy that manifests in our lives and on our streets. I pray we all have the strength for that journey, just as I pray for the souls and the families of those who were taken from us. Artwork: @nikkolas_smith."

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Oprah shared a heartfelt statement in the aftermath of George Floyd's death. Taking to Instagram, the chat show host wrote: "I've been trying to process what can be said or heard in this moment. I haven't been able to get the image of the knee on his neck out of my head. It's there every morning when I rise and when I go through the ordinary duties of the day. While pouring coffee, lacing my shoes, and taking a breath, I think: He doesn't get to do this.

"And now the video from the other angle of two other officers pinning him down. My heart sinks even deeper. His family and friends say he was a gentle giant. His death has now shown us he had a giant soul. If the largeness of a soul is determined by its sphere of influence, George Floyd is a Mighty soul. #GeorgeFloyd: We speak your name. But this time we will not let your name be just a hashtag. Your spirit is lifted by the cries of all of us who call for justice in your name!"

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Alison Hammond

This Morning star Alison Hammond had viewers in tears after calling up the ITV daytime show in the wake of George Floyd's death to give a powerful speech. The presenter said: "Firstly, can I say I think it's wonderful you've given this a platform on national television. I think it's absolutely wonderful. Firstly, I'm a mother to a black boy. I get emotional already. Sorry." 

Alison continued: "When I saw that image of George Floyd... I saw my brothers, my father, my son. Everybody's son. It hurt me to the pit of my stomach to think that this is 2020 and we're seeing that. [For] my whole life, my mum's life, my father's life. Everybody's life. When I see my white [and] my Asian brothers and sisters standing by Black Lives Matter, it means they understand. They can't understand fully, but they understand what we are going through.

"It's all about the fact that if black lives mattered, we wouldn't be in this situation now. So when black lives matter, then all lives will matter."

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Ciara shared a heartbreaking post on Instagram following George Floyd's death, alongside a picture of herself with her six-year-old son Future. She wrote: "My sweet Baby Boy. I pray that when you get older A CHANGE will finally have come!! I'm going to keep my FAITH! I'm praying that the losses of our Black Kings and Queens won’t be in vain. Enough is Enough! I'm praying for UNITY! I'm praying for the powers that be to unite and decide that it’s time for a change!"

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Jennifer Lopez

Jennifer Lopez has been sharing a number of posts on social media following George Floyd's death, including a powerful statement speaking out against racism. She wrote: "'I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the colour of their skin, but by the content of their character...' MLK. My beautiful friends... This is a matter of humanity!!! Of goodness and basic human kindness and decency!!! My heart is breaking. So many people are hurting right now. How can anyone say they love this country and not do something when they see lives cut short because of the colour of their skin?

"We need to erase the fear and hatred that exists. Not erase people. We are all God’s children. We need to love and appreciate all the beautiful things that every individual person is. There are more of us who live a life of love and acceptance than those who live in rage and hate. Do not let the angry, and hateful win!! Say something. Do something. Let’s build bridges not burn them. We have lost our way these past few years but we can find our way back. We need to speak up and speak love. Every chance we get... we need to storm the polls in November and VOTE... we need change!!! Somethings got to change!!"

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Kerry Washington

Little Fires Everywhere star Kerry Washington hosted a yoga session on Instagram following George Floyd's death, and made a donation to Black Visions Collective and the Louisville Community Bail Fund for every person who joined. She wrote: "Today I waoke up tahnking god for my ability to breathe. Even in the heartache. And in the anger. And in the fear. We breathe if we can. And we must breathe." She added that the class would breathe collectively for Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, George Floyd and Tony McDale.

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Rihanna shared an emotional tribute on Instagram following the death of George Floyd. She wrote: "Watching my people get murdered and lynched day after day pushed me to a heavy place in my heart. To the point of staying away from socials, just to avoid hearing the blood-curdling agony in George Floyd’s voice again, begging over and over for his life.”

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Paul Mescal

Normal People star Paul Mescal took to Instagram to share a post that read: "Neutrality is not an option. We stand in solidarity with those speaking up and fighting for justice and black lives everywhere. Black Lives Matter, Justice for George Floyd." Alongside it, Paul wrote: "Now is not the time to be passive… We have to educate ourselves and act immediately! Donate where you can to support."

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Kim Kardashian

Kim Kardashian used her platform to speak to her 173million followers on Instagram. The Keeping Up with the Kardashians star wrote: "For years, with every horrific murder of an innocent black man, woman, or child, I have always tried to find the right words to express my condolences and outrage, but the privilege I am afforded by the colour of my skin has often left me feeling like this is not a fight that I can truly take on as my own. Not today, not anymore. Like so many of you, I am angry. I am more than angry. I am infuriated and I am disgusted. I am exhausted by the heartbreak I feel seeing mothers, fathers, sisters, brothers and children suffering because their loved one was murdered or locked away unjustly for being black. Even though I will never know the pain and suffering they have endured, or what it feels like to try and survive in a world plagued by systematic racism, I know I can use my own voice to help amplify those voices that have been muffled for too long."

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Lupita Nyong'o

Lupita Nyong'o has shared a number of posts on Instagram following George Floyd's tragic death, including one of the viral pictures of the 46-year-old, which has the caption: "'Please I can't breathe, my stomach hurts. My neck hurts. Everything hurts. They're going to kill me.' George Floyd. Say My Name." She also shared the emotional video of singer Keedron Bryant, alongside the words: "I'm struggling today. How do I explain this never-ending cycle to my three sons. God help us."

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Holly Willoughby

This Morning star Holly Willoughby shared a poignant message by Cleo Wade about ending racism and how it starts by educating your family. She wrote: "It’s hard to know even where to begin with this... for me it’s the responsibility I have as a parent that my children understand the importance of these words said so poignantly by @cleowade ... I know they do already, however these are important conversations to have. Conversations that can never be had and emphasised enough."

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Rochelle Humes

This Morning star Rochelle Humes shared a heartfelt message on Instagram following George Floyd's death, writing: "The story of George Floyd angers and upsets me to my core, sadly it’s not the first but we HAVE to make it the last. The thought of ever having to explain this world to my babies. Glossing over this or scrolling past because it 'doesn’t affect you and your world' isn’t enough anymore, pay attention these are innocent lives. If you think it doesn't affect you you are very much mistaken, this is a human race issue!! Enough is enough..I want to help, I don’t know how but I want to. So let’s all shout it for the people at the back.. #justiceforgeorgefloyd  (I’ve linked a petition in my stories)."

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Jennifer Aniston

Friends star Jennifer Aniston shared a heartfelt message on social media, writing: "This week has been heartbreaking for so many reasons. We need to acknowledge that the racism and brutality in this country has been going on for a long time - and it’s NEVER been okay. As allies, who want equality and peace, it’s our responsibility to make noise, to demand justice, to educate ourselves on these issues, and more than anything, to spread love. How much more time are we willing to let pass without change? HOW MUCH MORE TIME? Text FLOYD to 55156 and sign the @colorofchange petition to have all four of the officers who killed #GeorgeFloyd arrested."

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Sabrina Elba

Sabrina Elba posted a picture which read: "Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere," alongside the message: "This. #justiceforgeorgefloyd."

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Laverne Cox

Actress Laverne Cox posted a video of a peaceful protest following George Floyd's death, writing alongside it: "Wow, this is really unbelievable." She also shared a powerful 25-minute video on Instagram titled "Some thoughts on race and racism", which was praised by her followers for being "beautiful, honest and helpful."  

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Ariana Grande

Ariana Grande has been out protesting and has been encouraging her 189million followers to do their bit to be actively anti-racist in light of the horrific death of George Floyd. The singer has been sharing information on Instagram, such as links to petitions and funds supporting the Black Lives Matter movement. 

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Victoria Beckham

Victoria Beckham opened up about how she was talking to her family about how they can be actively anti-racist following the death of George Floyd. She wrote: "It’s impossible not to be deeply moved by the tragic death of George Floyd. I’ve been thinking a lot about it, and as a mother of four, what’s struck me the most is how important it is to not sit by and watch from the sidelines without doing anything. So as a family, we spent a lot of time this weekend talking and reading about the issue. At first, it was about how shocked and devastated we all are that this still happens in 2020, but has turned more to how we can be actively anti-racist, how we can stand in solidarity with the black community (not just right now, but always), and how we can make a difference.

"We signed the petition for George Floyd as a starting point, and I’ve found that @colorofchange, @naacp and @theconsciouskid are good resources for listening and educating ourselves. As a mother, I was also so, so moved by the eye-opening lyrics to @keedronbryant’s song. In addition to standing in solidarity, it’s our responsibility to speak out now and use our platforms for education, conversation and change. X VB."

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