Rihanna Says Other Races Who Break Bread With Black Folks Need To Also 'Pull Up' For Us When We March In Moving NAACP Speech
“When we're marching and protesting and posting about the Michael Brown Jrs. and the Atatiana Jeffersons of the world, tell your friends to pull up," Rihanna said.
February 23, 2020 at 11:55 pm
While accepting the NAACP 2020 President's Award, Rihanna told those who break bread with Black folks to “pull up” in the fight against racial oppression.
In Saturday’s speech, the Bajan mogul told the audience that Black issues are everyone’s issue.
"We can only fix this world together,” she said. “We can’t do it divided. I cannot emphasize that enough. We can’t let the desensitivity seep in.”
The artist then advocated against the separatist mentality of: “if it's your problem, then it's not mine. It's a women's problem. It's a Black people problem. It's a poor people problem."
Rihanna further drove the point home by adding that the problems faced by Black people should also be a problem for their white associates looking to create opportunities with their affluent Black clients and friends.
"They wanna break bread with you, right? They like you? Well then, this is their problem too,” the artist said. “When we're marching and protesting and posting about the Michael Brown Jrs. and the Atatiana Jeffersons of the world, tell your friends to pull up."
Rihanna, whose real name is Robyn Rihanna Fenty, launched the Clara Lionel Foundation (CLF) in 2012, a nonprofit organization that aims to support and fund education, health, and emergency response programs as well as engage in social problems. The namesake is in honor of her grandparents, according to the official Fenty Beauty website.
“Thank you to the staff, board and community of the NAACP, including all of you guys here in this room and everyone at home watching who has devoted their lives and efforts towards supporting people of color,” Rihanna said.
According to a statement from the NAACP, Rihanna had received the award for not only her "groundbreaking career as an artist and musician," but also for being a "stellar public servant."
"From her business achievements through Fenty, to her tremendous record as an activist and philanthropist, Rihanna epitomizes the type of character, grace, and devotion to justice that we seek to highlight in our President's Award," Derrick Johnson, President and CEO of the NAACP, said.
Rihanna said “the purpose is bigger than me.”
“My part is a very small part of the work that’s being done in this world and the work that has yet to be done,” she said. “Thank you to the NAACP for all of your efforts to ensure equality for our communities. Thank you for celebrating our tenacity. We have been denied opportunities since the beginning of time and still we prevail, so I’m honored. Imagine what we could do together.”
Watch the speech below: