Members of Black Hollywood came together to launch a Public Service Announcement urging people of color to go out and vote on November 8th via the newly formed organization, Artistic Alliance For Justice (AAJ) PSA producers Steven Jones (Brand Maverick Entertainment) & Kendrick Sampson (ABC’s How to Get Away with Murder) created the concept of the PSA to both inform and educate people of color on voter suppression tactics most frequently used to deter their voices from being heard on election day, while providing concrete solutions on how to prevail against said tactics.
“As people of color, voter suppression is a living and breathing issue in our neighborhoods and communities,” Jones says. “We created this PSA to help people of color avoid these tactics in hopes of helping them better exercise the civil liberties afforded to us under our constitution as American citizens.”
Those who are seen in the PSA consist of Cedric The Entertainer, Meagan Good, Russell Simmons, Tisha Campbell-Martin, Chris Spencer, Logan Browning, Kendrick Sampson, Keisha Epps, Glynn Turman, Erica Campbell, DeVon Franklin and Dijon Talton.
The well-known faces and entertainers of whom you saw many participate in the #OccupyCityHall movement in Los Angeles (July 17,) the #SomeDayIsToday Anti-Police brutality PSA (August 4) and the #PowerInAction march and rally at the CNN building in Los Angeles (October 1,) have been using their collective resources and platforms to amplify initiatives that invoke positive social and political change underneath their new organization AAJ. With Election Day less than a week away, AAJ thought it of the utmost importance to encourage their communities to show up and vote!
“I vote to show that I give a damn,” said legendary comedic actor Cedric The Entertainer. “To serve as an “elected” official is a privilege that must be earned by the people who put their confidence in you to speak on their behalf. Your vote let’s them know you’re watching and expect results. We the People must be heard!!! Use your Voice! VOTE!”
A sentiment shared by iconic hip-hop mogul Russell Simmons, stated, “Not voting is an endorsement of the candidate that you didn’t choose. The state of our nation is in your hands. Show up to the polls this November 8th!”
And in the words from one of the AAJ co-founders, Eva Marcille, “Voting is not just our right, but our sacred franchise. I have never had to take literacy test at a voting booth or been turned away at a polling place, nor have I ever been told I couldn’t vote because of the color of my skin. I’ve never experienced that because my right to vote is protected by the blood of our parents and grandparents. That’s why I’m voting and that’s why I want you to vote. Exercising our right to vote is what we owe.”
This post was curated by Nsenga K. Burton, Ph.D., founder & editor-in-chief of The Burton Wire. Follow her on Twitter @Ntellectual.