Stevie Wonder offered support to the Black Lives Matter movement at his British Summertime headline show at London’s Hyde Park on Sunday (July 10).
Protests have sprung up in the US and around the world following the killings of two black Americans (Alton Sterling and Philando Castile) by police last week. Five police officers were also shot dead at a protest in Dallas on Thursday (July 7).
Opening his Hyde Park gig, Wonder told the crowd, “Before I start the concert I’d like to say to all of you a few simple things. In this troubled time I want to say to all of you that I love you all.”
The singer continued, “And I love you because I was blessed to be blind, it was a gift so that I could show those of you who have everything you have the blessing you have to use them all. That everyday is to please God and to use the gift of song that he has given me to encourage you to move forward”.
“In one sense I’m very happy that songs in the key of life are still significant almost 40 years later. In another sense I’m not happy about that. The reason is that the songs and the words that we talk about, those conditions still exist in the world and that hurts my heart.”
Wonder went on to add, “What I’m hopeful about is that we can make a difference. And if you too feel that we can make a difference, I encourage you to choose love over hate. It’s just that simple. Choose love over hate, right over wrong, kind over meanness. Hope over no hope at all. Which brings me to another point, yes, all life does matter, but the reason that I say black lives matter is because we are the original people of this world.”
“So in essence, everyone here has some black In you! You’ve all got some soul in you so stop denying your culture. So love yourselves and all your family. That’s what I say.”