Remember last summer when you couldn’t scroll through your Facebook feed without coming across one of those “Ice Bucket Challenge” videos?
Then, people all over the country — celebrities included — challenged each other to post videos showing them dumping buckets of ice water on themselves to raise awareness of ALS, a degenerative nerve disease. The challenge went crazy viral and raised tens of millions of dollars for research to combat the disease.
Now, Samuel L. Jackson is calling on the celebrities who participated to make a new kind of video viral — one protesting police brutality and racism in the wake of grand jury decisions not to indict two white officers accused of killing unarmed black men in Ferguson, Missouri, and in New York City.
Jackson posted a video to Facebook Saturday, the same day of massive nationwide protests, of the song, “We Ain’t Gonna Stop Till People Are Free.”
“All you celebrities out there who poured ice water on your heads, here’s a chance to do something else,” Jackson says in the video, which had garnered nearly 2.5 million views by Tuesday. “I challenge all of you to sing the ‘We Ain’t Gonna Stop Till People Are Free’ song.”
The words to the song mirror the famous last words of Eric Garner, a black man choked to death by a New York police officer”
“I can hear my neighbor crying ‘I can’t breathe,’
Now I’m in the struggle and I can’t leave,
Calling out the violence of the racist police,
We ain’t gonna stop till people are free.
We ain’t gonna stop till people are free.”
Jackson’s video has been shared more than 70,000 times, but so far, celebrities have been slow to respond with their own recordings. A handful of internet celebs and lesser-known names have participated, but the movement is receiving far from the A-list support the Ice Bucket Challenge saw — hundreds of celebrities took part then, including Chris Pratt, Jennifer Lopez, Matt Damon, Justin Timberlake, Oprah Winfrey and dozens more of Hollywood’s biggest stars.