Stevie Wonder spoke about Black Lives Matter and racism during a performance in London this past weekend as a headliner for the British Summer Time Festival in Hyde Park. After the deaths of Philando Castile and Alton Sterling, and the killing of five police officers in Dallas, the state of race in America has been generating intense dialogue–with everyone from Carmelo Anthony to Drake offering their thoughts. VH1’s Hip-Hop Honors: All Hail the Queens program also featured references to Black Lives Matter and what’s going on in the country.
Billboard reports that Stevie decided to make sure his fans in the U.K. understand where he stands.
“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,” he said.
“Choose love over hate, right over wrong, kind over meanness. Hope over no hope at all. Which brings me to another point… 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.”
Wonder voiced support for the family of Trayvon Martin back in 2013, when the singer declared that he would not be performing in the state of Florida until they changed their Stand Your Ground law.
At Hip-Hop Honors, Queen Latifah spoke about the current climate and racism.
“I don’t care how much money or things I have, or Puff [Daddy] has, or Missy [Elliott] has, the ladies have,” Latifah said. “if I go outside and try to hail a cab and he passes me for the white woman standing right there—that racism is still alive and kicking,” she continued. “And we have to change that. And I’m not blaming the white lady, she needed a cab too. I’m just saying we gotta change this attitude.”