London, Jun 8 (PTI) While expressing his gratitude for all the "love and support" that came his way after his rousing address at a protest against the custodial killing of George Floyd here, actor John Boyega has highlighted the importance of finding long-term solutions to uproot racism.
Floyd, a 46-year-old African-American man, died May 25 in Minneapolis, Minnesota after a white police officer knelt on his neck for nearly nine minutes in an encounter caught on video. The officer, Derek Chauvin has been charged with murder and manslaughter
The "Star Wars" star, who last week joined thousands of protesters gathered at Hyde Park for the Black Live Matter protest, received overwhelming support for his impassioned and tearful speech in which he addressed police involvement in the deaths of Floyd, Sandra Bland and Trayvon Martin in the US, as well as Stephen Lawrence in the UK.
In his first Instagram post since the protest, Boyega said this is an "intense time" for the black community.
"I want to thank you all for the love and support you have shared over the last few days, although nothing I have done is for praise, or is truly even enough, in the grand scheme of things.
"This is an intense time for our community, and the most important thing is for us to maintain momentum and not lose sight of how critical it is to pursue long term solutions and commitments, for the sake of our generation, and the next," he wrote on Sunday.
The 28-year-old British actor went on to explain that "now more than ever, it's important to use this movement as fuel to inspire new ways of thinking, building, and growing, together."
"I believe any great movement starts with a renewal of the mind. I know you're all thinking, what's next? Where do we go from here? Because I'm thinking the same sh*t," he said.
Boyega said he will continue to use his platform as a public figure "against the injustices and inequalities in our community".
"Conversations about black businesses, ownership and support are happening, and I will continue to have these conversations with the full intention of birthing ideas that are sustainable and tangible. Let's increase our knowledge! I'm excited to see an awakening happening in all of us!"
In his June 3 protest address, an emotional Boyega said, "Look, I don't know if I'm going to have a career after this, but f**k that".
"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. I ain't waiting," he had said.
The actor received support from several Hollywood names including Jordan Peele, his "Star Wars" director JJ Abrams, Olivia Wilde, Jessica Chastain, and more, Boyega emphasised this movement can't be fought "alone".
"I need you, and we need each other! We need everyone, across industries, socio-economic backgrounds, countries, to unite with a shared goal of REAL change," he said.
Before the coronavirus pandemic broke out, Boyega said he visited schools in Southwark to share "my journey and to truly understand the minds and needs of our next generation".
"It was eye opening and inspiring to say the least, and I look forward to continuing this work, and contributing more, once it is safe to do so," he said.
"I urge the black men of our community, my peers, to do the same. Connecting with our kids and motivating them towards a future that is stronger and brighter, is urgent, and necessary. In the meantime, let's work on clearing the runway for them, so they can take off, and fly. Love everyone, and stay safe," he added. PTI
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