Keke Palmer Urges People to "Speak Our Voice" and "Not Let Up"
Keke Palmer may not consider herself an activist, but she's been using her platform to speak out against racism and speak up about Black Lives Matter. For Cosmopolitan's "Jaugust" cover, the 26-year-old continued to use her voice as she spoke about the recent protests in the country, why she doesn't consider herself an activist, and whether or not 26 will be her year.
Most recently, she was applauded for her reaction at a protest, where she asked National Guardsmen to "March beside us, protect us!" Prior to that, in 2014, Keke joined the demonstrations in Ferguson, MO, and encouraged her followers to take to the streets instead of Twitter to initiate positive change. You can read some of her best quotes from the article ahead.
- On whether or not she sees herself as an activist: "I'm an entertainer. I was taught at a very young age that because I'm Black, that's not enough. I can't just entertain without thinking about what it means to my community. I know I have a platform, but at the end of the day, I'm not the political person that lives and breathes this day in, day out or an activist that lives and breathes this day in, day out. I don't have all the answers, I just speak to what I believe in. Let's speak our voice. Let's not let up."
- On why 26 will be her golden year: "I went on a great journey at the end of 2019 — a journey of personal love and self-love and really understanding what that meant. There was a breakup, not just romantic, but friendships too. The concept of loneliness used to weigh me down, but my 26th year has been a golden year because I've come to a lot of revelations about myself."
- On her first response to the protests: "With a lot of different emotions, when I saw some of the violence, I couldn't actually see myself doing that because I work from a different place, but I understand it. There are people out there who feel like that is their only option in order to be heard or their only way to have access to something they feel represents value. If the language for so long toward you has been violence, how would you expect someone to respond?"
- On her interaction with the National Guardsman: "At that moment, I felt like, 'You're human like me. I'm fighting out here, not just for me but for you too, you and the universe.' Everything I said came out like word vomit. I know I didn't let him get a word in edgewise, but it was because I wanted him to feel me. I wanted to connect to the human, not the suit, not this robot-ass sh*t."
- On how the movement feels different right now: "Of course no one wanted the coronavirus pandemic to happen, but I think quarantine allowed us to be more reflective. Maybe before, we'd be able to gloss over it because of work. It's also been a buildup. There have been so many names turned into hashtags, so much pain. It blows me away because our language has progressed — I don't mean specifically Black people, I mean, young people, millennials — naming white supremacy, saying that out loud."
- On President Trump: "I think President Trump plays into it, too. He's inciting a race war. His craziness is inspiring us to just really get him the f*ck out! It's like we needed somebody who riled us up so much for us to be activated to the point of saying, 'Oh, hell no. I can't let this guy continue.'"