Alicia Keys and a host of other stars, including Beyoncé, Bono, Rihanna, Taraji P. Henson and Chris Rock, appear in a powerful video released Wednesday that describes “23 ways you could be killed if you are black in America."
The video made the social media rounds after its release on Mic.com, spawning its own hashtag, #23Ways, and thousands of shares and comments. In black and white, it juxtaposes 23 artists with photos of 23 black victims of violence, with each star noting the acts that led to their deaths, mainly after interactions with police.
Many of the deaths led to intense anger and frustration among African-Americans, and kicked off protests that grew into the Black Lives Matter movement.
In an interview Wednesday, Keys said she was inspired by a Mic.com story earlier this month written by Jamilah King under the headline: “23 Everyday Actions Punishable by Death if You’re Black in America.”
Keys said it was easy to round up enough of her famous artist friends to hit the 23 mark.
“Each and every person I reached out to responded so quickly,” she said. “They were feeling exactly how I’m feeling and they were just ready.”