After weeks of getting slandered online for what some people saw as being MIA during a time of crisis, Kendrick Lamar joined DeMar DeRozan and Russell Westbrook in the streets of Compton to take part in a protest.
His 2015 single “Alright” continues to climb the charts as fans around the world adopt the track as an uplifting protest anthem. Now, amid nationwide demonstrations, the rapper joined those on the frontlines to participate in this weekend’s Compton Peace Walk.
The peaceful protest took place on over the weekend, with residents of the Los Angeles neighborhood coming together to march from Gateway Towne Center to the Martin Luther King Jr. monument by City Hall.
“Thousands came together—men, women, and children—to peacefully march for unity, justice, and peace for all,” Mayor Aja Brown wrote on Facebook following Sunday’s protest. “Today, we demonstrated that the LOVE we have for one another is powerful. Thank you to everyone that came out and to those that wanted to, but couldn’t … As I said today, this moment is not the ending, but the beginning of a new era—a movement to engage, educate and empower Compton to mobilize, organize and take action, especially when it counts.”
Mayor Brown also spoke to protesters at Sunday’s demonstration, saying that the moment marked an inspiring example of local unity among the community.
“One of Compton’s greatest strengths is our love for our city,” she said. “I firmly believe that we will emerge from this time more united and stronger than ever.”
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I owe everything to Black culture. The Black community has given me friendship, mentorship, kindness, love, music, creative inspirations, role models and so much more. The fight to end racial injustice is a long one, but one I’m committed to being a part of through my art and my voice. Black Lives Matter. This is a portrait I took of Kendrick Lamar today. All I did was say hello. Without asking, he stopped and posed. I gladly photographed him.
The president of TDE, Punch, tweeted about Kendrick’s appearance at the protest, poking fun at those who were calling him out prior for not protesting. He later deleted the tweet.
When one fan replied to a skeptic, writing, “I guess all the work the brother been doing in Compton before all this don’t matter huh?” Punch replied, “It never matters. Ppl have a short memory span.”
Long story short: don’t question Kendrick’s dedication to Compton or his people.