The annual Triumph Awards recognize individuals and corporations who have made and impact in civil rights, entertainment, education, business and sports.
This year, there were performances by Tyrese Gibson, T.I., Jazmine Sullivan, Estelle, Ledisi and Tasha Cobbs. It was T.I.'s performance, though, that's getting attention.
The Grammy Award winner expressed his thoughts on social media’s influence on the Black Lives Matter movement during a spoken word performance (below).
United we stand/ Because we created a hashtag for Sandra Bland
Jumped off the front of the ship and dove into the Internet waves
Swimming with DMs, likes, comments/ Not noticing how much it makes us slaves
Chained by man-made device small enough to fit into the palm of our hand
I guess that’s made it easy to swipe to the left and scroll to the next
And forget about Sandra Bland
United we stand
Because we wore hoodies and T-shirts that read ’Black Lives Matter’
But, ’Quick homie take this flick
Gotta make sure all my followers see this fresh ’fit’
Are we really about the movement or more concerned with our follower count growing fatter?
Secondary to revolutionary does not exist
Our society’s issues are deeper than social media posts, there’s a long list
And if you think solely making them a trending topic will solve them
Well, then, you’re a part of the problem
We are Trayvon Martin
We are Jordan Davis
We are Eric Garner
We are Tamir Rice
We are Walter Scott
We are Eric Harris
We are Freddie Gray
And We are Sandra Bland
United we stand.
The poem is a follow-up of sorts to his 2014 open letter, which addressed the turmoil in Ferguson, Missouri after the fatal shooting of Michael Brown.
Catch an encore airing of the 2015 Triumph Awards on TV One on Thursday, Oct. 8 at 6pm EST and check out more of T.I.'s spoken word performance in the clip above.
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