In the past 9 days immediately following She’yaa Bin Abraham-Joseph’s detainment by the Immigration Customs and Enforcement (ICE) agency, Black Lives Matter Global Network Co-Founder Patrisse Cullors has led a #Free21Savage consortium of nearly 60 celebrities, top human rights organizations including Color of Change, BAJI, Undocublack, Define American, and United We Dream, and communications and legal teams to advocate for the release of Abraham-Joseph.
In the wake of the 61st Annual Grammy Awards telecast, during which Abraham-Joseph was scheduled to perform his Grammy-nominated song, Rockstar, we received notice that She’yaa was granted an expedited hearing.
Today, 21 Savage was granted a release on bond.
“Black Lives Matter Global Network has been outspoken in the fight to abolish ICE. We started the #Free21Savage coalition to bring awareness to the struggles of the black immigrant community. We still have much to do for She’yaa and for many others but for the moment, we celebrate this victory. We must continue to pressure ICE and draw attention to the need for immigration reform, the unfair targeting of Black immigrants and the 600k undocumented Black immigrants in the US.” -Patrisse Cullors, Black Lives Matter, Co-Founder.
Immediately after being made aware of She’yaa Bin Abraham-Joseph detainment, Black LIves Matter led the #FREE21SAVAGE coalition in a 10-day action plan to demand his release:
- Monday, February 4, 2019 – Black Lives Matter Co-Founder Patrisse Cullors sponsored a petition that has received over 450,000 signatures and led a social media campaign to #Free21Savage.
- Tuesday, February 5, 2019 – The #Free21Savage consortium called on Elected Officials to investigate the excessive force and abuse ICE uses against immigrants and to dismantle the oppressive systems and policies that target black immigrants.
- Representative Hank Johnson (D-GA 4th District) wrote the Immigration Judge advocating for the release of 21 Savage.
- Sunday, February 10, 2019 – Activists demonstration outside of Staple Center on Grammy Day, demanding the release of 21 Savage. The debut of a 100-foot billboard urging the public to sign the petition beat the Staples Center on 7th and Vine in Los Angeles.
- On Monday, February 11, 2019 – Black Lives Matter led a public call-to-action to make phone calls to Sean Gallagher, ICE Field Director.
- Zoe Lofgren, Chair of the Immigration Subcommittee of House Judiciary issued a statement on 21 Savage.
- Tuesday, February 12, 2019 – The Coalition released a powerful PSA produced by Mic.com in support of 21 Savage PSA, “21 Ways to be Detained If You’re Undocumented in America” featuring Common, Kendrick Lamar, Mike Tyson, Yara Shahidi, J. Cole, Post Malone, TI, J.Cole, DJ Khaled, SZA, Jesse Williams, America Ferrara and more.
- The #Free21Savage consortium led a rally in Atlanta, and petition drop to ICE Field Office.
- Monday, February 14, 2019 – undocublack and BLM hosted a national call to updated the community on what’s next post 21 savage release.
- Saturday, February 19, 2019 – We hosted a twitter town hall for the free 21 savage campaign.
More than 57 high-profile personalities from across the entertainment industry publicly expressed their support. Politically-engaged entertainers such as Yara Shahidi, J. Cole, Kendrick Sampson, Diddy, TI and Cardi B have been joined by traditionally less politically vocal artists such as The Migos, Sheck Wes, Lil Yachty, DJ Khaled, Post Malone, and Metroboomin’ in showing support. Entertainment companies like Roc Nation, Top Dawg Entertainment, Quality Control, and Supreme have also voiced their support for 21 Savage.
Following the release, Charles H. Kuck, Dina LaPolt and Alex Spiro issued the following statement on behalf of She’yaa Bin Abraham-Joseph aka “21 Savage”:
For the past 9 long days, we, on behalf of She’yaa Bin Abraham-Joseph, known to the world as 21 Savage, have been speaking with ICE to both clarify his actual legal standing, his eligibility for bond, and provide evidence of his extraordinary contributions to his community and society.
In the last 24 hours, in the wake of the Grammy Awards at which he was scheduled to attend and perform, we received notice that She’yaa was granted an expedited hearing.
Today, 21 Savage was granted a release on bond. He won his freedom.
21 Savage asked us to send a special message to his fans and supporters—he says that while he wasn’t present at the Grammy Awards, he was there in spirit and is grateful for the support from around the world and is more than ever, ready to be with his loved ones and continue making music that brings people together.
He will not forget this ordeal or any of the other fathers, sons, family members, and faceless people, he was locked up with or that remain unjustly incarcerated across the country. And he asks for your hearts and minds to be with them.
ABOUT BLACK LIVES MATTER: Black Lives Matter is a chapter-based, member-led organization whose mission is to build local power to intervene in violence inflicted on Black communities by the state and vigilantes. They support the lives of the Black queer and transgender communities, the disabled, the undocumented, those with records, women, and all black lives along the gender spectrum. Black lives network centers those who have been marginalized with Black liberation movements.