DaBaby is showing up for the fight against systemic racism amid the current global civil rights movement.
Over the last few weeks, the country has erupted in protests and calls to action to put an end to police violence against Black Americans and find solutions for dismantling systemic racism. Politicians and celebrities alike have spoken out in support of the movement, and as policies begin to change and Confederate statues come toppling down, it feels that change is truly in the air. However, knowing that the fight is far from over, DaBaby announced Thursday that he would be holding a community meeting in his hometown of Charlotte, North Carolina, and inviting city officials and commuting organizers to the event he called, “Black Lives BEEN Mattered.”
The event took place on Juneteenth, the holiday that marks the day the last slaves being held in the U.S. received word of their freedom. DaBaby explained that the meeting would focus on issues of racism and police reform, saying, “[This is] an opportunity to give people whose voices aren’t heard, whose voices don’t reach a million people, the opportunity to be heard. Getting those voices heard, those statements heard, those opinions heard, in a room full of respected individuals, I just feel like it was important.”
DaBaby compiled a powerful panel for the event which included Mayor Vi Lyles, City Council member Braxton Winston, Mecklenburg County Sherriff Gary McFadden, former Carolina Black Panther Thomas Davis, and community organizer Kristie Puckett-Williams. DaBaby used the opportunity to address his own negative experiences with local law enforcement, drawing attention to an incident last year during which he believes he was racially profiled.
The rapper ended the event with a suggestion for continuing collaboration, saying, “I want to end this by extending an offer to try to put something together routinely like this. Where we can bring blank notebook paper and pens and clipboards and try to move forward.”