Lizzo uses Global Citizen Live to speak out against institutional racism


On Saturday night, musical artist Lizzo appeared on stage in New York City’s Central Park for the Global Citizen Live event. Dressed in a hot pink cat costume with removable ruffle sleeves, the performer wowed audiences with her biggest hits, including “Truth Hurts” and “Juice.”

The Grammy winner wanted to share more than music while captivating audiences. Lizzo took the opportunity to draw attention to institutional racism not only in the United States but around the world, as Global Citizen aired from six continents.

“Thank you very much to Global Citizen for having me,” she began. “You know, a big black girl from Detroit through Houston, Texas, doing big stuff with my life. I am so grateful whenever I can take the stage and sing for all of you. Thank you so much.

“And now I’m a rich bitch, it’s exciting, it never happened.” I’ll be like, ‘What kind of rich bitch do I want to be?’ And I decided I wanted to be a philanthropist. I want to give back. Why would God give me so much if I can’t give it back? So thank you very much for giving me the opportunity to give back.

Kevin MazurGetty Images

Lizzo then explained that Central Park is located at the site of an old community called Seneca Village, a neighborhood known as a prosperous black neighborhood in the mid-19th century. Residents were forcibly evicted and their homes demolished to create the park that tourists and New Yorkers enjoy every day.

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“As we talk about climate change, making the world a better place and solving the problem of homelessness, we also have to talk about the institutionalized racism that happens all the time in this country,” Lizzo said. “And if we don’t talk about our history in a constructive way, how can we build a better future? It’s time to talk about things, and it’s time to make a change. And it starts on the inside. You have to improve yourself for yourself, so that you can be better for others.

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