Several A-listers, including Beyoncé, Alicia Keys, Bono and Chris Rock, have taken part in a powerful new video that shows the many incomprehensible reasons for which black people in the US have died. The short is called “23 ways you could be killed if you are black in America."
The now-viral, heavily emotional production is part of a new social movement called #WeAreHereMovement, which calls on President Obama and the American Congress to take action over the recent shootings of black men and women in the country, specifically in the South and Midwest.
It starts with a close-up of Alicia Keys's face and the singer saying, "Failing to signal a lane change." The black-and-white image then flips to a photo of Sandra Bland, who was shot by police for doing just that. What follows are 22 other celebrities reading similarly simple and innocuous activities juxtaposed with a photo of the victim killed for doing each.
"Running to the bathroom in your own apartment," reads Chris Rock of what Ramarley Graham was doing before he lost his life. "Walking home with a friend," says Janelle Monáe of Gregg Gunn.
Other reasons listed are things most people do on a daily basis, like making eye contact, wearing a hoodie, walking toward someone and even sitting in you car.
The full impact can only be felt by watching the whole video. The anger, frustration and sadness of the celebrities who take part – from Chance to Taraji P. Henson and Pharrell to Kevin Hart – is clear.
The video ends with Alicia stating, "We demand radical transformation to heal the long history of systemic racism so that all Americans have the equal right to live and to pursue happiness."
Stars have also taken to sharing the short on social media using the hashtag #23Ways. It's now trending alongside #BlackLivesMatter.
— Danny Glover (@mrdannyglover) July 13, 2016
— Tracee Ellis Ross (@TraceeEllisRoss) July 13, 2016
— Jennifer Hudson (@IAMJHUD) July 14, 2016
— Miley Ray Cyrus (@MileyCyrus) July 13, 2016
— Gerard Butler (@GerardButler) July 13, 2016