Jelani Alladin wants you to post in your own words. The Broadway actor appeared on CBS News to explain why white silence in this heightened moment for Black Lives Matter is unacceptable, endorsing the power and necessity of social media.
“A friend of mine posted something without posting anything about #blacklivesmatter and some people might say that's a first-world problem of some sort but it's not,” Alladin says.
“I want to tell you the definition of social media: so social means relating to society and media is the means of mass communication. That means it is the portal at this time, where we are told to stay in our homes, to avoid getting contact with other people because of coronavirus,” he says. “It is one of the most powerful ways to communicate right now and you're telling me you have no hesitations posting a selfie of yourself or a shirtless pic of yourself or what you're eating for dinner and yet you're telling me you're afraid to say something because you might hurt other people's feelings, or you don't know what to say, or you don't have an audience to reach. Were you thinking those things when you posted the other photos? I don’t think you were.”
The actor, who originated the role of Kristoff in Broadway’s Frozen (for which he earned a Drama Desk nomination) as well as the title role in the Public Works production of Disney’s Hercules, implores people to become allies by posting in their own words to their feeds in order to reach their personal networks, no matter the size.
“In the theatre we talk about we've done our job if we change one person's heart or one person's mind,” he says. “Why does the same thing not apply to Black lives and your opinions on that?”
Watch his full video statement below: