Social media has been both a blessing and a curse, but for some of Hollywood’s finest, timelines have served as their platform for social justice.
From the fatal shooting of Trayvon Martin to the mysterious death of Sandra Bland, trending topics had these celebrities stand front and center in the pulpits of Twitter to spread awareness about the plights of minorities.
No matter what pops off on the Internet, count on these stars to give their unfiltered opinion on-site. Feed your mind and timelines by following this roster of vocal notables.—Mawuena Sedodo
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Talib Kweli says that activism is not just sitting at a computer, but actually getting up and doing something. When he’s not schooling ESPN commentators on violence against blacks, this socially conscious rapper uses his timeline to encourage the youth to be active citizens. From participating in sit-ins to peaceful demonstrations, Kweli lives up to his word.
In the 50s blacks were routinely attacked & killed at pools & our churches. THIS is the America they want back. #Charleston #McKinney
— Talib Kweli Greene (@TalibKweli) June 18, 2015
Hailing from Atlanta, Ga., this Grammy Award-winning spitter has long used his music to voice his concerns about society. Now, with the rise of Twitter, Killer Mike has taken to 140 characters or less to call out the wrongs in today’s racial atmosphere. Killer Mike also stands by 2016 presidential hopeful, Bernie Sanders.
@liam96murphy I will NEVER be pro gun control. long as blacks can be killed by the state and terrorist. Nah umma be pro save yo own life— Killer Mike (@KillerMikeGTO) June 18, 2015
David Banner is known for being a triple threat – an actor, rapper and producer. What many people might not know is that the multi-hyphenate is an activist for social change. Whether he is testifying against systematic racism in front of Congress or being honored for his dedicated work with Hurricane Katrina victims, Banner never shies away from using his voice for good.
Black men have to watch what color we wear, what hood we are in, the cops, whites and blacks, no hoodie no white tee, no loud radios damn!— DAVID BANNER (@THEREALBANNER) August 11, 2014
When not crooning monogamous love songs, John Legend lets his thoughts run the length of his timeline. From his beautiful speech about inequality at the Academy Awards, to his piece on mass incarceration, this Oscar Award-winning belter is the epitome of woke.
America is #1 at war and imprisoning. I wish we were #1 at building infrastructure and health care and educating our kids— John Legend (@johnlegend) August 12, 2014
Don’t let headlines fool you. Azealia’s Twitter rants always contain substance. From her feuds with Iggy Azalea to her constant frustration of white privilege in the music industry, Azealia consistently attacks the racist and sexist injustice that black women continually face in this nation.
I really just want my fucking reparations, and want you guys to stop killing my sons and telling my daughters they're ugly.— AZEALIA BANKS (@AZEALIABANKS) January 9, 2015
This Grey’s Anatomy heartthrob is more than just good looks, he has the brains to match. Never one to shy away from the topic of race, the former teacher addresses the issues head-on and uses his celebrity status to bring light to the plight of disadvantaged minorities everywhere.
Blackness has never been a threat to whiteness. Whiteness has always actively threatened blackness. This is not a matter of opinion.— jesseWilliams. (@iJesseWilliams) October 28, 2014
When she’s not directing critically-acclaimed films (See: Selma) and making history, Ava could be found on Twitter shedding light on social issues. Using her expertise in film-making, Ava recently pointed out the inconsistencies in the Sandra Bland dash cam footage that has been sparking outrage around the nation.
I edit footage for a living. But anyone can see that this official video has been cut. Read/watch. Why? #SandraBland http://t.co/2JXy9Zc4Y3— Ava DuVernay (@AVAETC) July 22, 2015
You may know her as Rue from the blockbuster series ‘The Hunger Games, but Twitter recognizes her as the carefree black girl who schools celebrities like Kylie Jenner on cultural appropriation. At just 16 years old, this actress shines a light on racism and challenges Americans to ask themselves, “what if we loved black people as much as we love black culture?”
End the "angry black girl" narrative. It's just another attempt to undermine certain perspectives. I have strong opinions. I am not angry.— Amandla Stenberg (@amandlastenberg) July 13, 2015
His films have inspired a generation, but Spike Lee’s influence doesn’t stop at the big screen. The esteemed filmmaker uses Twitter as a way to spotlight his stance on racism and inequality, even going as far to tweet the address (albeit wrong) of George
Zimmerman. Despite the immense backlash that ensued after the mishap, Spike continues to use social media as a powerful tool for change.
If You BelieveThis 28 Year Old Sista Sandra Bland Hung Herself In Waller County, Texas Jail Then You… https://t.co/kaKg5e3owL— Spike Lee (@SpikeLee) July 21, 2015
She’s no longer the young and innocent Zaria from The Parent ‘Hood. This child star is grown and has something to say. With over 100,000 Twitter followers, the African American/Puerto Rican starlet uses her e-podium to bring awareness.
When our ppl were "freed", do u think they ever thought that we, their descendants, n 2015 w/ a black Potus, would still be getting lynched?— Reagan Gomez (@ReaganGomez) July 23, 2015
As one of the founding fathers of hip-hop, Russell Simmons not only influenced the way we listen to music but leaves a mark on his three million Twitter followers’ stance on race. By using his star power, Uncle Rush delivers thought-provoking messages paired with solutions on how to achieve peace and equality.
The prison industrial complex, destroyed the fabric of the black community innocent deseasesd kids get good education in criminal behavior— Russell Simmons (@UncleRUSH) February 18, 2015
Scandal’s Papa Pope said it best: “You have to be twice as good as them to get half of what they have.” Sadly, it’s an inconvenient truth for many minorities in America. Actor Joe Morton never fails to give his followers a dose of the real on social media.
Saying the Confederate flag is just a symbol is like saying the N’word is just a word.— Joe Morton (@JOEtheMORTON) June 19, 2015