Kanye West is taking a stand for justice in his own hometown. In the wake of George Floyd’s memorial service, the “Jesus Is King” rapper joined crowds in Chicago yesterday to walk alongside them as they marched for change and equality.
West, who was born in Chicago in June 1977, was joined by fellow Windy City native and music producer, Greg “Olskool Ice-Gre” Lewis. Together, they assembled with hundreds of other advocates for change as part of the Black Lives Matter protests that are sweeping the nation and the world in response to response to police brutality and systemic racism.
His appearance yesterday followed the news of his $2 million donation to the families of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery and Breonna Taylor in addition to setting up a 529 plan to fully fund college education for Floyd’s 6-year-old daughter, Gianna.
Furthermore, the rapper turned designer is assisting Floyd and Arbery’s families with their legal fees as well as aiding black-owned businesses in Chicago and other cities that are struggling in the face of the pandemic. West’s wife, Kim Kardashian, is also stepping up for the cause, donating funds to several organizations working to achieve racial justice — Black Lives Matter, Color of Change, the NAACP Legal Defense Fund and National Urban League — through her Skims, KKW Fragrance and KKW Beauty brands.
Floyd, an unarmed black man, was killed on May 25 in Minneapolis by a white police officer, Derek Chauvin, after Chauvin knelt on Floyd’s neck for over eight minutes during an arrest. Chauvin was first charged with third-degree murder before the charges were elevated to second-degree murder; three other officers have also been charged with lower counts of aiding and abetting. Arbery, also black, was fatally shot by three white men in February while jogging in Georgia. His killers have since been arrested and are standing trial. And Taylor, a black EMT, died in March after being shot at least eight times by officers who forcibly entered her apartment. The FBI is investigating her death.