British grime artist Stormzy is the latest famous face to announce financial support to help fight racial imbalance. On Thursday, June 11 the rapper, real name Michael Ebenazer Kwadjo Omari Owuo Jr, pledged to give £10 million (Dh46.2 million) over ten years to black British causes, in what he described as the “beginning of a lifetime commitment.”
In a statement announcing the pledge, the rapper said, “The uncomfortable truth that our country continuously fails to recognise and admit is that black people in the UK have been at a constant disadvantage in every aspect of life – simply due to the colour of our skin.
“I’m lucky enough to be in the position I’m in and I’ve heard people often dismiss the idea of racism existing in Britain by saying, ‘If the country’s so racist how have you become a success?!’ And I reject that with this: I am not the UK’s shining example of what supposedly happens when a black person works hard. There are millions of us. We are not far and few.
"We have to fight against the odds of a racist system stacked against us and designed for us to fail from before we are even born.
"Black people have been playing on an uneven field for far too long and this pledge is a continuation in the fight to finally try and even it."
The statement comes during ongoing protests around the world sparked by the death of George Floyd in America, who was killed in Minneapolis last month after a police officer knelt on his neck for nearly nine minutes. Derek Chauvin, one of four police officers involved in Floyd's death, has been charged with second degree murder.
In the US, basketball legend, Michael “Air” Jordan and his Jordan Brand announced a donation of $100 million (Dh367 million) over ten years to "organisations dedicated to ensuring racial equality, social justice and greater access to education."
Having previously stayed out of politics during his long career, Jordan released a statement saying, "We represent a proud family that has overcome obstacles, fought against discrimination in communities worldwide and that works every day to erase the stain of racism and the damage of injustice.
"It's 2020, and our family now includes anyone who aspires to our way of life. Yet as much as things have changed, the worst remains the same."
K-pop supergroup BTS has donated $1 million to the Black Lives Matter, a figure doubled as fan’s matched it via crowdfunding.
Meanwhile, ex-boyband member Harry Styles has donated an undisclosed sum to the bail fund of those arrested for protesting in the US, as has rapper Drake. Singer Lady Gaga has also pledged support to a myriad of causes connected to fighting racism.
Earlier in June, the menswear designer for Louis Vuitton, Virgil Abloh faced an online backlash when he took to twitter to condemn the looting of high end stores (including his own) during some US protests, and included a screenshot of a $50 (Dh183) donation to Black Lives Matter.
The designer was forced to offer an apology, via twitter, explaining, “Let me start with a few central facts. I am a black man. A dark black man. Like dark-dark. On an average trip to the grocery store in Chicago I fear I will die.”
Citing growing up as the child of Ghanaian immigrants, he also explained that he had already donated $20,500 (Dh75,286) to bail funds and other causes “related to this movement.”
Meanwhile, Canadian R&B singer the Weeknd has gifted $500,000 to three entities fighting racial inequality, including Know Your Rights, Black Lives Matter and the protesters bail fund, National Bail Out.
In a statement, the singer reached out to the music community as a whole to get behind the protests. “To my fellow respected industry partners and execs—no one profits off of black music more than the labels and streaming services. I urge you to go big and public with yours this week. It would mean the world to me and the community if you can join us.”