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13 Popular Black Celebrities Who Did the ALS Challenge But Haven’t Spoken Out Publicly About the Michael Brown Killing

Celebrities are bestowed with platforms able to reach hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of people. Black celebrities have a special opportunity. Today, when Black people are often discredited and misunderstood, many Black celebrities are revered and praised by people of all backgrounds, races, ages and social standings.

These Black celebrities were challenged by others to participate in the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge — a campaign involving dumping a bucket of ice water on someone’s head to promote awareness of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease — within 24 hours.

The number of celebrities speaking out about the deaths of Michael Brown, an unarmed 18-year-old killed Aug. 9 by police in Ferguson, Missouri, and Trayvon Martin, an unarmed 17-year-old shot in Sanford, Florida, by an armed neighborhood watch coordinator on Feb. 26, 2012, pales in comparison to those promoting their efforts for a cure for ALS. As of Aug. 23, $165,000 has been raised for Brown’s family and $5.5 million has been donated to ALS. As the memories of young Black men such as Brown and Martin struggle to live on after the initial outrage and protests fade, Black celebrities are in a position to spark awareness, action and change.


Oprah Winfrey

Media mogul and businesswoman Oprah Winfrey accepted the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge, challenging movie director Steven Spielberg and others in the name of charitable giving and finding a cure. Winfrey, who is best known for her award-winning talk show, has yet to speak publicly about Brown’s killing.

However, Winfrey’s network OWN announced “it was sending Iyanla Vanzant — minister, spiritual life coach, host of OWN’s Iyanla, Fix My Life — to Ferguson, Missouri, following the death of Brown.” Less than two weeks after the teen’s death, Vanzant traveled to Ferguson for a 36-hour visit.


Wal-Mart Shareholders Meeting 2011

Will Smith

Will Smith, an award-winning actor and rapper, participated in the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge, challenging singer Beyonce and rapper Jay Z.

Smith’s fame from his TV show of the 1990s, The Fresh Prince of Bel Air, and films such as Independence Day (1996) and Men in Black (1997) helped his challenge video garner over a half-million views and bring great awareness to ALS.

However, since the killing of Brown, he has not spoken publicly about the incident. During the Martin case, Smith was noticeably absent as well.

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3 thoughts on “13 Popular Black Celebrities Who Did the ALS Challenge But Haven’t Spoken Out Publicly About the Michael Brown Killing

  1. This article is so correct. I am going to call it like I see it. Blacks making money because of whites, will never do anything they feel whites do not support, bottomline. I try to tell black people, many of these blacks do not have that much talent we see making millions of dollars, but they are out there because they are the ones who offer whites something they can benefit from. Take Oprah, she dosen't have real talent,when she came on the scene, what did she do? She was a self esteem booster for whites, mainly white women. They would come on her show, no matter what skeltons they had, or may have had in their closets, she always made them feel better, after revealing their skeltons, and they were allowed to cry on her shoulders, no lie. Do not think whites do not have self esteem problems, it is a very serious problem. JZ, he has just as many rap songs using the n word than any other rapper, and we hear more whites playing these songs than blacks, why? Because they can call us n….. to our face, and feel they are free to do it, because a black is blasting it, I hear this these songs often.played by whites. I could go on and on about other blacks they use and pay big bucks. The movie driving Ms. Daisy, what was that all about, and Morgan Freeman has played other demeaning rolls, telling the world this is what the black man is about , dring white women around and worshiping them. If we do not critique these movies and other situations these racsit have us doing, we will continue to be perceived as unintelligent people, for the dollar some of us will act the fool.

  2. Tracy Morris says:

    Celebrities are NOT role models. BUT they are however members of a larger community. Not being a role model does not exempt folks from social accountability nor social responsibility… At the end of the day they just want your $$$… Be your own person, follow your own path to greatness and always remember and appreciate those that helped you get there. And be sure to remember when they or their families get to complaining about racism… Let's be sure to give then a deaf ear. (Remember Oprah complaining about how a store was racist in Switzerland or how these entertainers cry about how black folks can't get a break in Hollywood)

  3. Franciscus Mic-Dropper Jackson says:


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