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Lizzo Praises ‘Big Black Women’ Refusing To Be Supressed In Powerful Speech

by : Julia Banim on : 15 Oct 2020 18:34
Lizzo Praises 'Big Black Women' Refusing To Be Supressed In Powerful SpeechLizzo Praises 'Big Black Women' Refusing To Be Supressed In Powerful SpeechPA

Lizzo has delivered a powerful speech at the 2020 Billboard Music Awards (BBMAs) upon receiving her award for Top Song Sales Artist.

Taking to the stage to collect her trophy, the 32-year-old Truth Hurts singer wore a black dress bearing the word ‘Vote’ multiple times.

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Lizzo then proceeded to use the moment to speak about the upcoming presidential election, as well as give thanks to the ‘big Black women’ who have paved the way for her phenomenal success.

You can watch Lizzo’s speech for yourself below:

After accepting her award, the singer stated:

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I just want to say, I’ve been thinking about suppression and the voices that refuse to be suppressed. And I wonder, would I be standing here right now if it weren’t for the big Black women who refused to have their voices be suppressed?

I just want to say right now if you’re at home watching this and you’re thinking about changing yourself to feel worthy, this is your sign to remain true to who you are.

She then went on to speak in greater depth about the issue of voter suppression in the US, a topic that has become of increasing concern in the run up to the November election.

Lizzo continued:

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Let me tell y’all something. When people try to suppress something, it’s normally because that thing holds power.

They’re afraid of your power. There’s power in who you are, there’s power in your voice. Whether it’s through music, through protest, or your right to vote, use your power, use your voice, and refuse to be suppressed.

Some of the most detrimental suppression measures used in the US include voter purging, strict identification requirements and felony disenfranchisement, according to the Financial Times.

Between the years 2014 and 2016, more than 17 million voters were deleted from registration lists, either because they hadn’t voted for several years or because their names were not an exact match for other government records.

Black Americans are said to be disproportionately affected by strict voting regulations, with 7.7% of Black Americans having lost their right to vote compared with just 1.8% of non-Black Americans.

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President Donald Trump’s recent call for an ‘army’ of supporters to ‘monitor’ polling stations has raised concerns about the potential for voter intimidation and further suppression of minority groups.

During his first presidential debate with Democrat Joe Biden, President Trump made baseless claims that Democrats would ‘steal’ the election, urging his supporters to ‘go into the polls and watch very carefully’.

Deputy Director of the ACLU’s Voting Rights Project, Sophia Lin Lakin, told the Independent:

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Even if he’s bluffing or saying something coming to mind, there’s a certain amount of concern about the statements themselves, potentially making people nervous about going out and exercising their right to vote.

From a legal standpoint, what he’s been saying and has done, it doesn’t matter whether it is or isn’t something one would consider legal. We prepare for it in that matter even though it seems far beyond the pale.

According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, aside from reporting potential issues to the relevant authorities, voter intimidation or interfering in the election process is illegal in the US.

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Julia Banim

Jules studied English Literature with Creative Writing at Lancaster University before earning her masters in International Relations at Leiden University in The Netherlands (Hoi!). She then trained as a journalist through News Associates in Manchester. Jules has previously worked as a mental health blogger, copywriter and freelancer for various publications.

Topics: Music

Credits

The Independent and 1 other
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