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Actor John Boyega speaks to the crowd during a Black Lives Matter protest in Hyde Park on June 3, 2020 in London, United Kingdom. The death of an African-American man, George Floyd, while in the custody of Minneapolis police has sparked protests across the United States, as well as demonstrations of solidarity in many countries around the world.

From ‘Star Wars’ to the War on Racism: John Boyega’s Speech at a London Protest Moved Masses

'We have always been important. We have always meant something. We have always succeeded regardless. And now is the time. I ain't waiting,' said an impassioned Boyega during his speech.

British film star John Boyega took to the streets of London on Tuesday to show his support for the Black Lives Matter protests. The actor has previously spoken out and condemned the violent acts which led to the death of George Floyd on May 25th.

Matching his words with action, Boyega marched with protestors and assembled a large crowd to listen to him speak to the end of systematic racism. "Black lives have always mattered," he roared, "We have always been important. We have always meant something. We have always succeeded regardless. And now is the time. I ain't waiting."


Pictured with tear stained cheeks and often having to pause in order to gain his composure, the proudly British-Nigerian star went on to say, "Today is an important day, we are fighting for our rights. We are fighting for our ability to live in freedom."

Speaking to the instances of looting and public destruction often performed to delegitimize the protests, Boyega noted, "It is very, very important that we keep control of this movement, and we make this as peaceful as possible…they want us to mess up."

Boyega shared an impassioned statement against racism last month, defending his stance against naysayers who took issue with his tweet which read "I fucking hate racists."

He later doubled down on his statement in an Instagram live, saying "So I'll say it again…fuck you racist white people. I said what I said." He drew support from many online, who felt that his actions were a prime example of how celebrities should be using their platforms to call out racism.

Although many countries have joined the fight and protested in solidarity with the United States of America in light of the recent murders of unarmed Black people, the United Kingdom has undoubtedly been guilty of their own instances of racial injustices and police brutality against Black citizens. Demonstrators across the globe continue to gather in support of change.

Interview
Photo: Benoit Peverelli

Interview: Oumou Sangaré Proves Why She's the Songbird of Wassoulou

We caught up with the Malian singer to talk about her new Acoustic album, longevity as an artist, and growing up in Mali.

When Oumou Sangaré tells me freedom is at her core, I am not surprised. If you listen to her discography, you'll be hard-pressed to find a song that doesn't center or in some way touch on women's rights or child abuse. The Grammy award-winning Malian singer has spent a significant part of her career using her voice to fight for the rights of women across Africa and the world, a testimony to this is her naming her debut studio album Moussolou, meaning Woman. The album, a pure masterpiece that solidified Oumou's place amongst the greats and earned her the name 'Songbird of Wassoulou,' was a commercial success selling over 250,000 records in Africa and would in turn go on to inspire other singers across the world.

On her latest body of work Acoustic, a reworking of her critically acclaimed 2017 album Mogoya, Oumou Sangaré proves how and why she earned her accolades. The entirety of the 11-track album was recorded within two days in the Midi Live studio in Villetaneuse in 'live' conditions—with no amplification, no retakes or overdubs, no headphones. Throughout the album, using her powerful and raw voice that has come to define feminism in Africa and shaped opinions across the continent, Oumou boldly addresses themes like loss, polygamy and female circumcision.

We caught up with the Malian singer at the studio she is staying while in quarantine to talk about her new album, longevity as an artist, and growing up in Mali.

This interview has been edited and condensed for clarity.

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