During “The Color of Covid,” an hour-long special hosted by CNN’s Don Lemon and CNN political commentator Van Jones on Friday, these celebs offered words of encouragement to communities of color, asking them to persevere through these difficult times.
“Hopefully we’ll all come out on the other side of this and I’d like to be able to hug somebody that I don’t know just because, I see them, they smile and say they like what I do, and they ask for a hug and I want to be, you know, safe in that environment so, when there’s a vaccine I’m getting it,” said actor Samuel L. Jackson in his message.
As more and and more data becomes available, one thing is clear: Covid-19 has only magnified the systemic inequalities that persist in the United States. Nonwhite Americans, especially African Americans, have been hit hard on nearly every front.
As of May 11, for example, 17,155 black Americans are known to have died due to Covid-19, according to an analysis from the American Public Media (APM) Research Lab.
That’s out of nearly 65,000 deaths for which race and ethnicity data was available.
Here are some more messages shared from actors, singers and personalities.
“I just want to take a moment to send and spread the love during this time. Our black and brown communities have been hit disproportionately harder than others during the pandemic. And while there is no one cause for the disparity, it is on us and programs like this to educate and uplift one another during this time”
Rapper and actor Common
“No matter where you’re from and what you may be experiencing, that your ability to focus on the things that are positive, to actually be active towards things that are positive, to live in a way of love and wellness and just like the capacity to be a human being and be present and do the things that you were meant to do on this planet, and purpose, we have that. No one can take that away. It has nothing to do with money, it has nothing to do with race, it has nothing to do with disease. You have that within you.”
Singer Toni Braxton
“I’m going to be honest here, this pandemic has had detrimental effects on the black and brown communities. So now more than ever we got to come together, we do, we got to uplift one another and continue to protect each other by staying in place and following state and county orders.”
TV personality Mario Lopez
“I just want to send a huge abrazo to the Latino community, and a special thank you to all our essential workers in our community because you guys are on the frontlines, and you are pushing through, and are quite frankly, the real heroes. So, muchisimas gracias.”
Ballerina Misty Copeland
“Now more than ever is a time for us to come together in our communities to support one another, to shine a light on the issues that are happening right now in this present time during this crisis. I think that there is a silver lining in all of this, and it’s an opportunity for us to remind one another that we are all brothers and sisters, and more than ever the Black community needs that help and support.”
Author and inspirational speaker Iyanla Vanzant
“I know that we have all been adversely affected by COVID-19, but I want to remind you of the genius and power you have in the cells and fiber of your being. From your greatest ancestor to your nearest grandparent, you have a reservoir of strength, courage and capacity. … Our options may have been limited but we still have choices. Choose to stand on the shoulders of those who came before you. Stand tall, and stay safe.”
Actress Alfre Woodard
“The truth is, in most black and brown communities, we didn’t have the luxury of sheltering in place. We make up the bulk of the essential workers in all of the service capacities. We remain the backbone of this nation’s ability to stand up straight. We’ve taken a hit this time with COVID and our families have taken a hit. Well, if you must venture out, please do so heroically. Put on your mask for yourself, for your family, all the other families. The mamas, the daddies, the kids.”