What Is Your Legacy? Black Celebs Share Their Inspirational Responses After Kobe Bryant's Death

"Hopefully I lay down a foundation or a blueprint that encourages people to be the best version of themselves," Michael B. Jordan shared with ESSENCE.
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The NAACP Image Awards celebrated 51 years in the game last Sunday, honoring the Black and the excellent across TV, music, literature and film, as well as celebrating social justice leaders. It’s the For Us, By Us awards and one of the longest-running celebrations of how far we’ve come as a people.

This year’s celebration followed an untimely tragedy that claimed the life of beloved athlete Kobe Bryant, as well as his daughter, Gianna Bryant and seven others. So ESSENCE asked our favorite Black celebrities how they’re grappling with their own mortality and what type of legacy they wish to leave behind.

“I feel like, especially with Kobe Bryant, it made me think about it a lot about it more; about the mark you leave on Earth,” When They See Us star Caleel Harris shared on the red carpet last Sunday. ” I just hope that God-willing, I have a long career; a long life.”

PASADENA, CALIFORNIA – FEBRUARY 22: (L-R) Lizzo, Cynthia Erivo, and Tracee Ellis Ross attend the 51st NAACP Image Awards, Presented by BET, at Pasadena Civic Auditorium on February 22, 2020 in Pasadena, California. (Photo by Paras Griffin/Getty Images for BET)

While on the red carpet for the 51st NAACP Image Awards, we asked stars including Michael B. Jordan, Trevor Jackson, Marsai Martin and more to share what they wish their legacy to be, how they’re building it and how they hope it will stand the test of time.

Watch the video above to see what their touching and inspiration responses.

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