People of color have long found power and resilience in the words “We shall overcome someday.” But a new PSA asks a harrowing question as an extension of that championed line: When?
In a powerful video by filmmaker Tommy Oliver andhosted byracial justice action group , famous people of color including Meagan Good and Marlon Wayans recite the words to the iconic protest song “We Shall Overcome.” It’s an anthem that became forever tied to the Civil Rights Movement, and these celebrities are using it to address racial injustice in America and hope for the future.
At the end of the video, actress Aja Naomi King asks, “When is ‘someday?'” prompting the hashtag #SomedayIsToday, a response which is also magnified in a companion video featuringTina Knowles-Lawson and Alfre Woodard.
“Today. You can start today, if you aren’t already involved. It can happen today.”
The PSAs, released under the hashtag #SomedayIsToday, seek to galvanize action and attention around racial justice especially in those who have found comfort on the sidelines of the current social climate in the U.S.
“A lot of people wonder, when is someday?” Johnetta Elzie, activist and member of the Campaign Zero planning committee, tells Mashable.
“Even the ‘I Have A Dream’ speech says ‘one day’ but when is that day? [These videos] are saying today is that day. Today. You can start today, if you aren’t already involved. It can happen today,” she says.
Though violence against communities of color has been an unfortunate and gutting reality for a long time, these videos are particularly poignant right now. Police violence directed toward the black community has been especially visible over the last month, given the recent shooting deaths of , and .
Elzie says the videos come at a time when young black people are looking to their favorite celebrities to speak out on this violence, which impacts their lives every day.
“There are so many celebrities in one video that young black people in this country know or recognize or look up to and they are talking about the issue of police violence. I think that is incredible,” she says. “Even though they are in such a high place of visibility, they still see what’s happening, they know what’s happening, they recognize what’s happening and they want to be a part of the solution.”