ESSENCE Poll: Do You Respect Celebrities More When They Speak Up About Social Issues?

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Keke Palmer, J. Cole and Nelly have paid visits to Ferguson in support of protests against the fatal shooting of Michael Brown.

Lauren Turner Aug, 19, 2014

A week after the tragic events surrounding Michael Brown’s death, celebrities are stepping up to show their support. Rapper  J. Cole wrote a song titled “Be Free” in honor of Brown and all of the others slain by the police. Grey’s Anatomy star Jesse Williams spoke up for Brown on CNN. Keke Palmer, J. Cole and Nelly traveled to Ferguson, to take part in protests and listen to the protestor’s stories. 

Of course, this isn’t the first time celebs have gone beyond their tweets to show support. Last year, the Trayvon Martin case sparked cries of outrage, and support for his family, from a myriad of celebrities. As far back as the civil rights era, entertainers like Harry Belafonte, Ossie Davis and Ruby Dee stood at the forefront with Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and Malcolm X.

Most often, their support is appreciated, but to some critics, it feels like celebrities are overstepping their boundaries when they speak up. Do you respect them more when they suppport social issues? Or do you think it just complicates things? Take our poll and share your thoughts with us.

[poll id=540426]

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