Award-winning grime artist and Merky Books founder Stormzy has made a £10 million pledge to UK organisations tackling racial inequality.
From that politically charged Glastonbury performance to setting up a Cambridge University scholarship for black students, Stormzy has always used his platform to vocalise issues around race and class.
Now, the award-winning grime artist has pledged £10 million to UK organisations, charities and movements tackling racial inequality, justice reform and black empowerment. The donation will be made over the next 10 years.
It of course comes after the death of George Floyd, a black man who died after a white former police officer kneeled on his neck for over eight minutes, sparked Black Lives Matter protests across the world.
In Stormzy’s statement, which was released alongside news of the donation yesterday (11 June), he describes the “uncomfortable truth” of racism in the UK and how often people dismiss it.
“If the country’s so racist how have you become a success?!” is a question the musician often faces, according to the statement. His response is to “reject” this idea, explaining that he is “not the UK’s shining example of what supposedly happens when a black person works hard”.
Here is Stormzy’s powerful statement in full:
“The uncomfortable truth that our country continuously fails to recognise and admit is that black people in the UK have been at a constant disadvantage in every aspect of life – simply due to the colour of our skin.
“I’m lucky enough to be in the position I’m in and I’ve heard people often dismiss the idea of racism existing in Britain by saying, ‘If the country’s so racist how have you become a success?!’
“And I reject that with this: I am not the UK’s shining example of what supposedly happens when a black person works hard. There are millions of us. We are not far and few. We have to fight against the odds of a racist system stacked against us and designed for us to fail from before we are even born.
“Black people have been playing on an uneven field for far too long and this pledge is a continuation in the fight to finally try and even it.”
Further information on the pledge will be released in due course and Stormzy has urged others to also pledge to support similar causes.
How to be a better ally in the fight against racism
Here are just a few of the ways we can all do this:
How to support Justice for George Floyd:
Donate to the official George Floyd memorial fund, a GoFundMe page set up by Floyd’s brother.
Support the Black Visions Collective, an organisation working specifically on racial justice within the state of Minnesota.