Black Lives Matter Launches Coalition to #Free21Savage, Raise Awareness of Immigrant Rights, and Get the Critically Acclaimed Rapper Released
On February 3, 2019, Black Lives Matter was made aware the Grammy-nominated rapper She’yaa Bin Abraham-Joseph (21 Savage)’s arrest and detainment by the Immigration Customs and Enforcement (ICE) agency.
In response to this tragedy, Black Lives Matter Co-Founder Patrisse Cullors BLM initiated the #Free21Savage consortium of nearly 60 celebrities, top human rights organizations, and communications and legal teams to advocate for the release of She’yaa Bin Abraham-Joseph.
The Black Lives Matter Global Network has sponsored a petition and more than 57 high-profile personalities from across the entertainment industry and hundreds of thousands of people have publicly expressed their support. Politically-engaged entertainers such as Yara Shahidi, J. Cole, Kendrick Sampson, Diddy, and Cardi B have been joined by traditionally less politically vocal artists such as The Migos, Sheck Wes, Lil Yachty, 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.
While we are not involved in the court case, Abraham-Joseph is currently represented by legal experts Charles Kuck, Dina LaPolt, and Alex Shapiro, who were hired for the entertainer by hip-hop legend and entrepreneur Jay-Z. He has a pending U Visa application (as the victim of crime) with USCIS. As such he should have relief from removal available to him, but he is currently being held without bond.
There are approximately 11 million undocumented immigrants in America, about 619,000 who are black, and approximately 2 million who are oftentimes referred to as “Dreamers” who, like Shayaa Bin Abraham-Joseph came to the United States as children and consider our nation home.
Black Lives Matter Global Network convened the consortium to because Abraham-Joseph is a Black immigrant, a Dreamer, father of three, and a member of our community. He is beloved by his friends, fans, and family and his notability allows us to uplift his circumstance to stop his deportation and change the policies that impact other Black immigrants facing similar circumstances.
“Black Lives Matter has been outspoken in the fight to abolish ICE and will continue our advocacy for the immigrant community through demonstrations like our most recent action at the San Diego border, where we protested the family separation that has resulted in over 1000 children being detained and separated from their parents; never to see them again.
We are calling on elected officials including Members of Congress to investigate the excessive force and abuse ICE uses against immigrants and to dismantle the oppressive systems and policies that target us. We are also demanding that ICE end the deportation of She’yaa Bin Abraham Joseph aka 21 Savage.”
— Patrisse Cullors, Co-Founder of Black Lives Matter Global Network
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.