Musicians have been voicing their dismay with the recent events of police brutality and racist violence against black people. Breonna Taylor, a 26-year-old EMT, was shot and killed by a police officer in her own home during a raid, Ahmaud Abery, a 25-year-old jogger, was running in his South Georgia neighborhood when he was chased and shot by two armed white men. And most recently, the killing of George Floyd. Floyd was a 46-year-old black man who was aggressively pinned down by now ex-police officer Derek Chauvin’s knee, leading to his death by “asphyxiation from sustained pressure.”
As a result of this injustice, there have been protests in all fifty states. Additionally, many artists joined in protesting and voicing their platforms for racial justice and change. This past Tuesday, there was a music industry blackout called #BlackoutTuesday, which was meant to amplify black voices and show solidarity.
Iconic rapper Kanye West was seen on the front lines of the protesting with the Black Lives Matter movement in his hometown of Chicago, Illinois. West, who got into hot water for his conservative views and pro-Trump tweets, also donated $2 million to the families of Floyd, Taylor and Abery. In addition to giving the funds to those families, West also created a 529 college savings plan for Floyd’s 6-year-old Gianna, which will cover her full tuition.
Kanye West joins the #BlackLivesMatter protest in Chicago
He also reportedly donated $2M to the families of Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, and George Floyd and set up a college fund for Floyd’s daughter Gianna 🙏🏾 #JusticeForGeorgeFloyd pic.twitter.com/zH1uhXbJDF
— Complex Music (@ComplexMusic) June 5, 2020
Not only did Kanye West donate $2 million, he also joined protests today in Chicago. pic.twitter.com/bTeFPFNAGz
— Talking Rap ✊🏾 (@talking_rap) June 5, 2020
West, who was recently announced as the highest-paid musician, also vowed to support various black-owned businesses. With a new shift in his personal faith, West released the gospel album Jesus Is King back in October and subsequently began his Sunday Service Choir, which released their debut album, Jesus Is Born, this past Christmas.