On Saturday night, musician Lijo appeared on stage in Central Park, New York City, for the Global Citizen Live event. Dressed in a hot pink cat suit with removable ruffled sleeves, the actor wowed audiences with his biggest hits, including “Truth Hearts” and “Juice.”
He wowed audiences when he wanted to share more than Grammy Award-winning music. With Global Citizen broadcasting from six continents, Lizo used the opportunity to draw attention to institutional racism, not only in the United States but around the world.
“Many thanks to Global Citizen for getting me,” he began. “You know, the big black girl from Detroit on the way to Houston, Texas, is doing a big ass with my life. I’m so grateful whenever I set foot on stage and sing for everyone. Thank you so much.
“And now I’m a rich bitch, that exciting, that never happened. I’ll be like, ‘What kind of rich bitch do I want to be?’ And I decided that what I really needed to do was learn how to do it right. I wanted to give it back.
Lizo then explained that Central Park is located in the location of a former community called Seneca Village, an area known as a prosperous black neighborhood in the mid-19th century. Residents were forcibly evacuated and their homes were demolished to allow park tourists and New Yorkers to enjoy the same every day.
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“As we talk about climate change and the world as a better place and a solution to homelessness, we also need to talk about the institutional racism that has been talked about in this country,” Lijo said. “And if we don’t talk constructively about our history, how can we build a better future? It’s time to talk about things, and it’s time to make a change. And it starts inside. You have become better to yourself, so you can be better to others. ”
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