While the Oscars was on…Black Hollywood Raised $122K for Flint

 

imageedit_1_2053716834Black Hollywood–those who didn’t boycott the Oscars (*cough* Chris Rock*cough*Whoopi Goldberg*cough*)–used their star power to raise awareness for Flint water crisis Sunday by organizing #JusticeforFlint fundraiser. In turn raising over $100,000 to help all those affected.

Selma director Ava Duvernay, Creed director Ryan Coogler (shown above) and Grey’s Anatomy star Jesse Williams banded together to host the Justice for Flint free event streamed on Revoltv, including panel discussions and performances by…

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Jazmine Sullivan

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Empire’s Jussie Smollett and Estelle

 

Janelle Monae and the always great Stevie Wonder

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Musiq Soul Child

 

Ledisi singing the best version of “Bridge Over Troubled Water.”

And panel discussions featured Hill Harper, Ryan Coogler and Avengers star Mark Ruffalo. Jesse Williams continued to keep it real why he, Ryan Coogler and Ava Duvernay combined forces.

The poisoning of Flint’s water hasn’t been happening for 2 days…for 2 weeks. It’s been 2 years and we’re only talking about it now because they got caught.

Ava Duvernay let the numbers speak for themselves:

The special event was a great way to cast a shadow over the Oscars, which is already being boycotted by A-list actors Will Smith, Jada Pinkett-Smith and Spike Lee.

At the same time throw a spotlight on an issue that’s been mostly ignored by mainstream media and Justice department.Why hasn’t the Michigan governor been arrested yet? 

Throw in Al Sharpton’s LA rally against Tinseltown’s lack of diversity, this was the weekend for taking a stand, rather than accepting honors. 

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Russell Simmons’ Art Foundation Honors Dave Chappelle & Ava DuVernay

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Art merged with philanthropy at Russell Simmons’ Art for Life Gala in the Hamptons this weekend. The 20th anniversary (yes, count ’em the big 2-0) brought out habitual hermit Dave Chappelle and ‘Selma’ director Ava DuVernay. The odd pair were recognized for their artistic abilities. And helped raise money for Russell Simmons’ RUSH Philanthropic Arts Foundation that finances arts programs in schools and galleries.

Funnyman Chappelle didn’t mince words about art saving his life, and it being used to reveal some deep seated issues (cough…racism… cough) and disturbing societal patterns (cough…police brutality against minorities… cough) still present.

“I went to an arts high school when shit was awful; there was a crack epidemic and AIDS, and all kinds of shit was happening, and the National Guard was policing DC and I found out about this arts program, and it changed my life in ways I couldn’t even imagine.

“And now  look at me today! Here I am with the “Winners Circle” in the Hamptons. And I have a ‘Great Gatsby’ hat on… I can say honestly that I’m happy. I can stay home on Tuesday nights and watch (Keegan Michael) Key and (Jordan) Peele do my show. And it doesn’t hurt me at all. It doesn’t hurt me at all. I’m just joking y’all.”

Jokes aside, he hinted at how art could be instrumental in making a change.

” The biggest enemy of an artist is apathy. A kid gets killed by the police and I buy a T-Shirt and before I can wear that one, there’s another kid (killed) and I’m running out of closet space.”

Hopefully he won’t need anymore.