Let’s face it – the coronavirus pandemic has changed everything. COVID-19 has disrupted our lives like never before, and people are begging for life to go back to normal. And that’s exactly what’s going to happen now that vaccines are ready. Despite this amazing breakthrough, there are still many people in the world who are against vaccinations. This is especially true in the Black community — and for good reason.
America has a bad history of medical abuse against Black people going back centuries. One of the most notable cases is the unethical Tuskegee syphilis experiment, a terrible abuse where almost 400 Black men were purposely given syphilis, a debilitating venereal disease, then were denied treatment without their knowledge or consent for forty years, leading to cast suffering and many deaths. Then, there is the sordid gynecological research, in which they experimented on Black women against their will.
The past haunts the Black community enough that a recent poll showed only 42% of African Americans are willing to get the new vaccine. Regardless, medical experts are urging folks to get their shots. Still, some prominent Black celebrities have been called anti-vaxxers, which is a huge concern during this critical time when we are poised to beat the COVID pandemic. Here’s a look at some of their views.
She may play a superhero in Black Panther, but Letitia Wright has been called a supervillain for some of her anti-vaxxer views on Twitter. She got an earful from her followers who let her have it with their own angry tweets. But it looks like she never really learned anything from her exploration in the _Black Mirror _universe about using technology to make trouble. Her sorry-not-sorry Twitter response left proponents of vaccination less than thrilled with the actress’ stance, and she eventually deleted her account.
The “Un-Break My Heart” singer has sent mixed messages on vaccinations. In her 2014 memoir, Toni Braxton seemed to blame vaccinations for her son’s autism, stating, “Maybe it’s just a coincidence that after my son’s first MMR vaccine, I began to notice changes in him.” It may not be fair to brand her as an anti-vaxxer, however. She’s also stated that her son’s condition was punishment for a previous abortion. Regardless of what she’s said in the past, she’s clearly practicing good quarantine procedures, giving herself a pedicure safely in her own home.
Royce da 5’9″
The acclaimed rapper Royce da 5’9” came back strong with his 2020 album The Allegory, but some of the lyrics on his hit song “Tricked” have vaccine proponents alarmed. In it, he raps, “From day one at the hospital, they target our children/Say they gonna immunize ’em, they somehow get autism.” He backed up his beliefs in an interview for the song’s video release: “Well, I found that I was able to draw a correlation between autism and vaccination. I found vaccinations link back to autism in many ways.”
Some fans have called out the star of the House Party movies for her stance on vaccinations. Tisha Campbell has wondered if vaccines may have had something to do with her son’s condition. As she stated in an interview, “So when you asked me do I think [vaccinations] can attribute to autism, I think it might have something to do with it because of what I’ve seen from my particular family.” But in the same interview, she also said, “I am not anti-vaccination, but I am pro-vaccination safely.” While harboring doubts, it sounds like she’s not 100% anti-vaxx.
The outspoken hip-hop artist is never one to shy away from sharing his opinions. When it comes to vaccinations, however, he has seemed to walk certain comments back. Back in 2016, Killer Mike seemed to take a straight-up anti-vaxx position. When facing backlash, however, he backtracked a bit in typical Mike style with some pretty harsh Tweets denying that position. One thing nobody can say is that the rapper isn’t committed to positive change, as one can see in his most recent efforts to help struggling Black communities.
It’s been a while since we heard much from Lisa Bonet on the subject of vaccinations, but the former Cosby Show star has been in the limelight from her child acting days all the way to her storybook romance with Jason Momoa. Still, the fact is that way back in 1990, she absolutely let her anti-vaxx feelings be known. In an interview on the long-gone The Donahue Show, Lisa spoke her mind pretty clearly, saying they could “introduce alien microorganisms into our children’s blood” and even declared they might link to “cancer, leukemia, multiple sclerosis, [and] sudden infant death syndrome.” Hopefully, she’s changed her mind since then.
Holly Robinson Peete
It’s been a long and storied career for the gal who started on 21 Jump Street, but Holly Robinson Peete has come a long way since then with an amazing career on film and TV, including her own reality show _Meet the Peetes. She also became the mother of an autistic child, which she believes was caused by vaccines, and an advocate for children with the condition. In her own words: “…don’t expect me—after witnessing what vaccinations did to my son—to inoculate my other children under the same circumstances.” She sends very mixed signals, though, because she also stated in the same message, “Despite what happened to my son, I’m not anti-vaccine.” Conclusion: Holly may not be fully anti-vaxx, but she doesn’t sound enthusiastic about them either.
Miguel Cima: Miguel is an Argentine New Yorker who spent part of his career in Los Angeles working in film, television, music and comic books, including directing Dig Comics, winner Best Documentary at the San Diego Comic Con. As a copywriter, he has focused on entertainment pieces providing hundreds of reviews, interviews, and articles for Screen Rant, Taste of Cinema, and Films Gone Wild, covering film festivals including Sundance, Slamdance, and Tribeca. He’s also focused on travel, real estate and food and drink articles, writing hundreds of pieces for Grey Door Publications’ premier magazines Concierge and The Open Door.