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Iyanla Vanzant calls out Jay-Z, Lil Wayne, LeBron to come to Ferguson

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Reported by:  Kacie Whaley

Although many people were not in support of inspirational speaker Iyanla Vanzant visiting Ferguson because she would be filming it for her TV show, she still showed up in the St. Louis town last week to address protesters and downtrodden residents.

Upon arrival, the “Iyanla: Fix My Life” host called for a group of idolized entertainers to meet her on Thursday on the street where Michael Brown was gunned down to show their support of Ferguson. “We’re calling out people that our young people can hear,” Vanzant said in a video on her Facebook page. “We’re calling you out, Jay-Z, LeBron James, Common, Nas, Schoolboy Q, Kendrick Lamar, Lil Wayne, and Drake.”

Not a single celebrity that Vanzant called on came to the site on Thursday. Instead, “Love and Hip Hop Atlanta’s” Benzino was seen standing beside Vanzant as she addressed at least one hundred protesters. “I talked to Benzino…he made a commitment to me that he was gonna call out the hip hop artists to change their message to our young men,” Vanzant said.

Rap artist Common released a video in response to Vanzant, asking for Ferguson to “protest in peace.”

Vanzant, her camera crew, and protesters stood, wiping beads of sweat off their faces, in front of the very spot where Brown’s body lay dead just over two weeks ago. The crowd listened as Vanzant said a prayer and flung water over the area where the 18-year-old’s lifeless body rested for four hours:

“We give praise and honor to our ancestors… we give praise and honor to those who paved the way for us. We give praise and honor to the spirit of the fallen ones. We give praise and honor to you, Michael Brown. We thank you. We know that your spirit calls for peace. We give peace to your mother, Leslie, today. Peace to your father, Michael, today. Peace to the brothers that look like you today.”

“We ask that you…cover us in peace, that you lift us in peace, that we bring peace to Ferguson, that it spreads to St. Louis, that it goes up to Detroit, that it crosses over to Philly. Everything peaceful be associated with Michael Brown. That your life shall not be in vain. We shall lift you worldwide. That you shall be know as the life that was given to bring peace to all African American men that look like you.   They shall be seen, they shall be heard, they shall be counted. They do matter.”

“We thank you, Michael. We thank you for the sacrifice. We thank you, Michael, for waking us up…We love you, Michael, we miss you, Michael…We let it be so, and so it is. God bless.”

Vanzant’s central message to the crowd was to come together and take action. She urged repeatedly for Ferguson to organize. “Somebody will benefit from you remaining disorganized,” said Vanzant. “You’ve got to organize!”