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Singer Kat Graham On Black Lives Matter PSA: ‘I Felt Gutted’

Singer Kat Graham’s chance encounter on a flight to Atlanta led her to help create a bold new public service announcement for Black Lives Matter.

The concept of the chilling campaign, which features the parents and teacher of Josh, who made “one wrong decision” that led to his death, was the idea of J. Walter Thompson Chief Creative Officer Vann Graves.

“Graves explained that he was inspired to write the concept in 2014 when his wife was pregnant with their first child,” Graham wrote on Instagram Wednesday, Aug. 16. “In the days before the birth of Graves son’, both Laquan McDonald and 12-year-old Tamir Rice were killed by police officers. His frustrations and concern for his son’s future sparked this idea to use his creative platform to raise awareness for the Black Lives Matter movement.”

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Graham, who first met BLM founders Patrisse Cullors, Alicia Garza and Opal Tometi last year at the Glamour Women of the Year Awards, identified with Graves’ concerns. She produced the spot, which is titled “At-Risk Youth” and features civil rights activist Rev. Raphael G. Warnock, Ph.D.

“Every single murder that happens where these officers are exonerated and there’s no justice served, I felt gutted,” Graham told Essence.

“This is not about all white cops wanting to kill Black people, but moreso about the value of Black lives,” said Graves, who is the most successful Black ad agency executive in the country, to Essence. “Black lives do matter and it has begun to feel that we are disposable.”

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