*“Star Wars” actor John Boyega says he worries his Black Lives Matter activism may hurt his career.
In a new interview with the Radio Times via The Guardian, the British-Nigerian actor was asked about his emotional speech in June at a BLM protest in London and if he had concerns about speaking out.
“Absolutely. I still have those thoughts,” he responded. However, Boyega said he refused to remain silent following the death of George Floyd at the hands of Minneapolis police officers.
“I’ve been stopped and searched,” he told the Radio Times. “And my dad, who was a Pentecostal minister, got stopped on the way back from church. I was little.”
In his June speech, Boyega broke down in tears while speaking to thousands gathered in Hyde Park protesting against systemic racism, sparked by the death of Floyd while in police custody on May 25.
“Black lives have always mattered. We have always been important. We have always meant something. We have always succeeded regardless. And now is the time,” he said into a megaphone,. “I ain’t waiting. I ain’t waiting!”
Boyega also called for the protection of Black women, and to stop “demonizing our own”.
“We need to take care of them. They’re ours, they are our hearts, they are our future,” he said.
“We are the pillars of the family. Imagine this: a nation that is set up with individual families that are thriving, that are healthy, that communicate, that raise their children in love. Have a better rate of becoming better human beings.”
He continued, “Every black person here remembered when another person reminded you that you were black… I need you to understand how painful this shit is,” said Boyega. “I need you to understand how painful it is to be reminded every day that your race means nothing.”
“And that isn’t the case anymore. That is never the case any more. We are going to try today, we are a physical representation of our support for George Floyd. For Sandra Bland. For Trayvon Martin. For Stephen Lawrence.”
He added: “I don’t know if I’m going to have a career after this, but f–k that.”