BIPOC Voices, Opinions

Shout out to Justin Bieber

Can we let Justin Bieber live?

words by: Kai Acevedo
Jul 13, 2021

Shout out to Justin Bieber.

 

 

Yes, he has had a complicated history with Black culture. However, he’s an ally in the fight against injustice and he seems sincere about it. He also has a love for and is inspired by Black culture and isn’t afraid to let it be known.

 

Prior to catching flack for rocking dreads, again, the 27-year-old caused a stir earlier this year by including the words of Dr. Martin Luther King, on his Justice album.

 

 

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A post shared by Justin Bieber (@justinbieber)

 

The bold move by Biebs (which was co-signed by Dr. King’s daughter) to feature the assassinated civil rights leader’s vocals on his sixth album, was met with criticism and skepticism and understandably so. It’s become customary for people at any stature to do it for the clout and/or likes. And too often the really thin line between appropriation and appreciation is crossed.

 

 

On JB’s “MLK Interlude,” MLK preaches passionately about courage and being willing to sacrifice things like a job or popularity for something that is believed in. Being woke may be trendy and in style for many progressive minded people, but that doesn’t mean wokeness is embraced by everyone. Black Lives Matter, a movement that fights for social equality and justice, has been classified as a group of thugs by a former president and compared to everything from a terrorist group to the Ku Klux Klan by others.

 

 

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A post shared by Justin Bieber (@justinbieber)

 

Even though it could potentially make a few of his 171 million IG followers uncomfortable, JB makes statements like, “Saying black lives matter doesn’t mean that other lives don’t matter.” He speaks out against racism and police brutality.

 

The Biebs ain’t afraid to put his money where his mouth is either. He’s invested time and funds into initiatives that have supported racial equality, Earth Day, the families of COVID-19 first responders, mental health awareness and making wishes come true.

 

It’s no secret that JB has been heavily influenced by Rhythm & Blues. The “What Do You Mean?” singer reminds us every chance he gets. His latest No. 1 hit, “Peaches,” is a R&B-flavored tune that features rising R&B stars Daniel Caesar and Giveon. One of the biggest pop stars in the world even expresses disappointment when his music isn’t properly categorized as R&B.

 

 

“In the end, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends,” is a quote attributed to Dr. Martin Luther King. In more modern times, Rihanna said pull up. So yeah, shout out to Justin Bieber. If he sees something, he says something and I can appreciate it.

 

Photo via Mike Rosenthal/Getty Images