Did Jamie Foxx call out Jay Z, Kanye West and other entertainers at the March On Washington?
Earlier this year, when social activist Harry Belafonte expressed that he feels as though Jay Z, Beyonce and ”other high-profile artists” have turned their back on social responsibility, there was huge controversy surrounding his statements, and it eventually led to Jay responding in an interview with the infamous line, “My presence is charity.”
Although most celebs backed off from speaking out or choosing sides, Jamie Foxx seems to share the same sentiments as Harry Belafonte and believes that entertainers definitely should be doing more! Yesterday, while celebrating the 50th Anniversary of Dr. Martin Luther King’s “I Have A Dream” speech in Washington, D.C., he took to the podium and delivered a touching speech that co-signed Harry Belafonte’s statements and encouraged entertainers to step it up, especially Jay Z, Beyonce and Kanye West.
Catch what he said below:
I’m here to celebrate what Dr. King did 50 years [ago], I’m not even probably going to read from the teleprompter because I’m just going to speak from my heart. I’m going to tell you right now, that everybody my age and all the entertainers, it’s time for us to stand up now and renew this dream. That’s what we got to do. I was affected by the Trayvon Martin situation. I was affected by Newtown and Sandy Hook. I’m affected by those things, so it’s time for us now to pick up. Harry Belafonte saw me at the Image Awards and he asked me what am I willing to do. He took it a step further and we went to dinner and my daughter who is 19 years old –I said, ‘Listen, if you want to get inspired, come listen to this man speak.’ When I sat with Mr. Belafonte, he asked my daughter, ‘How old are you?’ And my daughter said, ’19.’ I said, ‘Mr. Belafonte what were you doing at 19?’ He said, ‘I was coming home from World War 2 and when I got back to America I wasn’t allowed to vote. I love America, but I realized I had more work to do. So myself, Al, Jesse, and Martin, we marched.” I said, ‘Wait a minute man, you sound like you’re naming a boy band group, what do you mean? Who are these guys’ names?’ He looked at my daughter and said, ‘Martin Luther King, have you heard of him?’ We sat there and we cried.
What we need to do now, is pick it up now so when we’re 87 years old talking to the other young folks we can say, ‘It was me, Will Smith, Jay Z, Kanye, Alicia Keys, Kerry Washington,’ and the list goes on and on. Don’t make me start preaching up here. Last but not least, I have to recognize Mr. Berry Gordy and not only did Harry Belafonte bail Martin Luther King out of jail so that he could march he also paid for all of Coretta Scott-King’s bills as long as she was on this planet.
Young folks let’s have some respect for our elders…
This isn’t the first time Jamie has referenced Harry Belafonte in a speech while expressing that he believes he should be doing more as an entertainer. This year, during his NAACP Image Award acceptance speech, he said:
I had so many things I wanted to say, but after watching and listening to Harry Belafonte speak, sometimes I feel like somehow I failed in being caught up in what I do, but I guarantee you that I’m going to work a lot harder man.