Star Wars actor John Boyega is one of many celebrities supporting the Black Lives Matter movement.
At a rally in London’s Hyde Park on June 4, the 28-year-old gave an impassioned speech, telling the crowds that he needed them to “understand how painful it is to be reminded every day that your race means nothing”.
Boyega, who was born in the UK but of Nigerian descent, said: “That isn’t the case anymore. That is never the case anymore.”
“We are a physical representation of our support for George Floyd. We are a physical representation of our support for Sandra Bland. We are a physical representation of our support for Trayvon Martin. We are a physical representation of our support for Stephen Lawrence.”
“We need to take care of our black men. We need to take care of our black women.”
“They’re ours. They’re our hearts. They’re our future. We cannot demonise our own. We are the pillars of the family. Imagine this: A nation that is set up with individual families that are thriving, that are healthy, that communicate, that raise their children in love, have a better rate of becoming better human beings.
“Black lives have always mattered. We have always been important. We have always been something. We have always succeeded regardless. And now is the time – I ain’t waiting.”
At the conclusion of his speech, Boyega said: “Look, I don’t know if I’m going to have a career after this, but f–k that.”
In the wake of Floyd’s death, Boyega took to social media with a series of anti-racism posts.
His initial tweet, “I really f–king hate racists”, was supported by over a million Twitter users, however, he was also criticised for it, causing him to clarify what he meant.
“WHITE on BLACK racism … the kind that has ruined the world,” he said before adding, “This is my own personal account. I am not here for the kids.”
In a video on Instagram Live, he then expanded on his tweets as reported by The Guardian.
“A black man was just murdered in cold blood in the street Stateside again while saying he can’t breathe. That’s a continuous cycle going on.
“Although I don’t live in the States, I’m black … So I’ll say it again: f–k you racist white people. I said what I said. And if you don’t f–king like it, go suck a d–k.”
John Boyega put his whole career on the line for the culture. We salute you????? pic.twitter.com/t5YoW69KaK
— Papi Pluto (@Realist__Ty) May 27, 2020
Boyega, who grew up in London, said that he suffered racist abuse since childhood and said he would block those who were against his posts.
“You lot can’t rattle me. I’m not the guy to be rattled. I wasn’t raised by no weak people.”
WATCH: John Boyega’s Black Lives Matter Speech in Full below.