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Belafonte, who has criticized the silence from other artists in the past, praised Usher and other musicians who have used their platform to speak out.
Two greats came together on Friday evening at New York City’s 92nd Street Y.
In a panel moderated by Soledad O’Brien, civil rights icon Harry Belafonte had a passionate conversation with emerging activist Usher, whose new single “Chains” brings awareness to high-profiled deaths in the Black community, to discuss racial relations in this day and age, reports the Associated Press.
“I’m inquisitive in my young age,” Usher said. “When do we really face the issues that are within our system?”
During the conversation, Belafonte, who has previously criticized artists for not speaking out against social injustices, praised the recent emergence of musicians who have been outspoken in today’s Black Lives Matter movement.
“I’m glad I lived long enough to see this emergence,” Belafonte said.
Usher agreed, saying that it is celebrities’ responsibility to use their platform for raise awareness.
“This conversation comes at a time when I think it’s a necessity for us as artists to use our platforms in a significant way,” Usher said. “[Belafonte and other activists] used everything they’ve got, or they had, in order for us to have that platform.”
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