so many other Black inventions (both cultural and technological), #BlackLivesMatter has taken on an international relevance thanks to its timely and succinct summation of the cultural moment. What differentiates
this current moment from similar ones in the past, however, is that #BlackLivesMatter is largely disseminated on the same social networks where brands and celebrities — an increasingly fuzzy and outmoded distinction, I’ll admit — pitch us their (lives as) consumer goods.
The inherent oddity of this dual distribution is highlighted by people in the public eye who perform Blackness for profit. I was struck by this scrolling through the timeline of Dwayne (@TheRock) Johnson as he promotes his ongoing HBO show and teases his buddy cop comedy with Kevin Hart. Johnson — whom I am an unabashed fan of — is widely known to be half-Black and has no problem engaging the myriad tropes of said Blackness in his performances (and nor should he), but has remained silent on issues of social justice, even as they trend worldwide.
As I scroll and scroll, I can’t help but think:
“Can @TheRock say #BlackLivesMatter?”
I don’t mean to single out Dwayne, because he’s not the only one being Black for money and quiet when it counts. In fact, we at Those People have compiled a list of entertainers, celebrities and people in the public eye about whom we are similarly curious, and we would love your help asking them!
Thanks to Medium’s Twitter integration, all you have to do
to participate is highlight one of the following questions. The Twitter icon will pop up, and you’ll be able to tweet it at the celebrity from your account.
So without further ado, we’d like to ask…