Comedian Dave Chappelle’s Netflix special addresses murder of George Floyd, police brutality and the legacy of slavery “my great grandfather was a slave……” In his 25-minute set called 8:46, referencing the amount of time that white police officer Derek Chauvin held his knee on Floyd’s neck in Minneapolis in May.
Chappelle says it took him a week to watch the video, and he could imagine the terror that 46-year-old Floyd would have felt in those moments and that anyone seeing the video would be furious.
The comedian who pointed out that this is probably the first event in North America since lockdown talked about the deaths of Eric Garner and Trayvon Martin, Chappelle’s view on the role of celebrities during the protests was “they do not need (us) me right now”. “This is the streets talking for themselves,” “They don’t need me right now.” he said. He congratulated those supporting Black Lives Matter. “I want to shout out to all the young people who have had the courage to go out and do all this amazing work protesting – I am very proud of you.”
The heartfelt show, which Chappelle acknowledges as “not funny at all”, was filmed live on 6 June, and released on 11 June . Taking place in front of a socially distanced audience this is Chappelle’s first stage performance in three months, the audience wore face masks and underwent temperature checks on entry. It is the first concert of its type in the US since the Covid-19 lockdown.
Available now for free on YouTube accompanied with a link to the Equal Justice Initiative, founded in 1989 by Bryan Stevenson, it is committed to “ending mass incarceration and excessive punishment in the United States, to challenging racial and economic injustice, and to protecting basic human rights for the most vulnerable people in American society” as it reads on their site.
Stevenson is widely acclaimed public interest lawyer and bestselling author of Just Mercy, which was made into a film starring Jamie Foxx in 2019. Here is our interview with Jamie Foxx.
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