John Boyega, the British actor who famously played Finn in the 2015 movie Star Wars: The Force Awakens, has been speaking up about the Black experience for some time. Recently, Boyega took part in a London protest that began in response to Minneapolis man’s George Floyd’s death while he was being dealt with by police. The Star Wars franchise’s star used his influence to make a powerful speech about the issues.
John Boyega speaks up for the Black Lives Matter movement at London protest
Ever since the Floyd video began circulating on the internet, Boyega has been talking about police brutality against Black people on Twitter and Instagram. However, he took the fight against injustice to the streets recently, at a June 2020 Hyde Park protest.
Via a megaphone, Boyega spoke to the crowd of demonstrators.
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“Thank you for being here to show your support,” Boyega said. As he talked, protestors swarmed with cell phones and homemade signs.
“Black people, I love you,” the actor continued, to applause. “I appreciate you.”
The Star Wars cast member continued on the importance of the protest:
Today is an important day. We are fighting for our rights. We are fighting for ability to live in freedom … Today, you guys are a physical representation of that. Let’s show our brothers and sisters all around the world that we’ve got their back.
John Boyega reaches emotional height during his protest speech
As bystanders cheered him on, Boyega expressed his emotions openly.
“Black lives have always mattered,” he said. “… We have always meant something. We have always succeeded regardless. And now is the time. I ain’t waiting.”
And for those who don’t understand where he’s coming from, Boyega explained the heart-breaking truth, through tears.
Every Black person understands and realizes the first time you are reminded that you are Black. You remember. Every Black person in here remembers when another person reminded you that you were black.
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Before speaking his truth on the street, Boyega was calling for change on social media.
“This just burns,” he tweeted after Floyd’s death. “Seems to be a never-ending cycle. The murderers need to be charged severely. Even in the face of death, this man was given zero empathy.”
Later, Boyega wrote on Twitter, “I really f*cking hate racists.” While that message shouldn’t be controversial, some tweeters took issue.
One follower told Boyega not to spread the “hate.” But the Star Wars actor had no time for that.
“I said what I said,” he replied. Speak for yourself at all times.”