black women

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!”




  1. Brenda

    August 24, 2014 at 10:10 pm

    I love Iyanla as long as I have read and followed her she been constant in her love for peace. There definitely a need for collaboration now because everywhere is stress and tension between races. They look at us we at them nothing has been addressed and before rock is thrown somebody to break the silence. That that Vandana called out are all than men for not answering the call she put out. These she called out famous individuals that right now I am ashamed that they are black men. Would not have taken a dollar or a minute from their busy agenda to speak up for the same people that put them on pedestals bought their music and films. This is the thanks Black people that Jay Z, Common and everyone else she asked to show up and be just seen there in Ferguson MO gave you smdh!

  2. marcus davis

    August 24, 2014 at 11:19 pm

    She’s right about one thing and thats to organize.

  3. Shockadelica

    August 24, 2014 at 11:39 pm

    Shouldn’t they show up anywhere where there’s a lot of black on black crime first? Nobody cares about blacks getting killed until it’s a white person doing the killing! Look at what’s going on in Chicago right now?! Where’s Al Sharpton and Eric Holder at ? CNN, Sharpton, Holder, and celebs don’t care when a bunch of black gang members/drug dealers kill each other everyday.but when a white person does it all hell breaks loose! We jump to conclusions and make it a race issue.Black on black crime happens way more than white on black crime.You won’t hear that on CNN.

  4. Richard

    August 24, 2014 at 11:44 pm

    Thank you Shockadelica. That is called hitting the nail on the head.. Ms. Vanzant, are you coming to Chicago with representation? You can organize without celebs, they have deeper pockets, but our voices are just as loud

  5. Read and think !

    August 24, 2014 at 11:48 pm

    Black on Black crime have been taught and carried out by each generation. Willie lynch still lives because WE continue to live by the plantation morals and values. It’s only left up to US to change it and if we don’t we should only blame US

  6. Tiffypie

    August 24, 2014 at 11:53 pm

    You are absolutely right! We need to come together for crime period. We need to ban together for any and all injustices. Black on Black crime is an epidemic that should not be ignored.

  7. Tiffany

    August 25, 2014 at 12:00 am

    Seriously people criticized her.. What a shame.

  8. phoenyx

    August 25, 2014 at 12:09 am

    She and the rest of them need to come Chicago and go to Englewood and a few other places. Black on black crime is rampant. It s just as important. I’m afraid for my teenage son to leave the house. I m sorry for Michael but get y’all asses to Chicago aka “Chiraq” and march as well. I’m just saying!!!!!

  9. I Know what You're Thinking

    August 25, 2014 at 12:15 am

    TIFFYPIE: You, Shockadelica, and everyone else speak the truth! However, when are WE going to band together as a people and say ENOUGH? WITHOUT RIOTING and destroying our communities as if that will accomplish anything except destruction of OUR CITIES, and taking jobs from US. People are so busy spewing that word “VOTE” when the people they put into office to create laws to PROTECT us is doing nothing but lining their own pockets. They could care less about BLACK PEOPLE! Only when it is time to go to the polls do they express concern about our people…and we fall hook line and sinker every time. We are told…to vote. Voting gives you a voice. Oh really? Where is Michael Brown’s voice? Where is the voice of our babies that are killed in gang related gunfire? If the events that are happening in Chicago were to occur in the white community, don’t you know that the National Guard would have been there on the spot? ….But hold up, they wouldn’t even allow blacks in their community without questioning why they are there in the first place. And then there is us….we can’t stick together long enough for the glue to dry! SAD State of Affairs All Around! Especially in the good old country of AMERIKKKA!

  10. jboogie

    August 25, 2014 at 1:13 am

    I truly understand her request, their influences are needed. If it was the men of yesterday Box Muhammad Ali, Bill Russell and Mr Jim Brown, these guys wasn’t afraid to stand for the equality of their people and fans. This younger generation only cares about themselves, many of them think very conservative. Most of them are doing the monkey see monkey do ALS Bucket challenge, oppose to equally displaying concern for those who need them most. I’m in full support of the ALS campaign, and we have individuals suffer diabetes in our community in great numbers, but a soul isn’t a throwing any water or giving any water in the black communities. But I promise if one of them selfish as whites starts a challenging campaign for diabetes; here we come. My prayers goes out to Ray Allen and family, and Usher Raymond, both families have children suffering from type one diabetes. But we seriously need to wake up, with all this wealth and education we’re still trying to follow.

  11. Selina Chavis

    August 25, 2014 at 1:16 am

    We are talking about two different issues. White police officer’s are killing black people vs blacks killing black people. Both are wrong. But let’s keep in mind that black people are dying senselessly because of white supremacy and black people are killing their own because of their hopeless conditions. We need people like Ms.Vanzant a to speak to the minds of our people. We also need a holistic nutionist to help them eat right so they can think right. They need to know who they are and this is the time to start. In my opinion Ms. Oprah, Mr. Stedman, Mr. Eric Dyson, Mr. Tyler Perry and others need to do something to change the direction of this situation. They have the resources o make n impact.
    Snd last but not least, President Obama, we voted you into office not to tell us what is wrong, but for yo to do omething to resolve the unequal impact that is going on. For instance black unemployment.

    Thank you.

    • GEE

      August 26, 2014 at 12:14 am


  12. Arneader

    August 25, 2014 at 1:48 am

    RAPPERS…..I hear crickets. They are not socially inclined they are too busy making it rain and party.

    • GEE

      August 26, 2014 at 12:18 am


  13. teddybarexxx

    August 25, 2014 at 7:20 am

    I agree with you all! I said the very same thing when trayvon martin were murdered. We only come together when its a white on black crime. During the trayvon martin trial the so called black leaders wanted to have prayer visuals and marches meanwhile a young black man was gun down and left in the middle of the street like a stray dog in my city (shreveport la) and no one rallied for justice there were no prayer visuals there were no al sharpton of our community coming in to find justice nothing! The way we kill each other we might as well put on the white sheets and burn crosses in the middle of the yards of the intended victims we set out to kill or terrorize just like the kkk done to black folks for years! Now the roles has reversed we do it for them. As i say time and time again im noy supporting rich black folks dont dont support the quote on quote poor and uneducated black ppl of our communities. The jay z’s, lil waynes, the t.d.jakes, the creflo dollars, the oprah’s, of our society should be ashamed of themselves for just sitting back doing nothing to stop black on black genocide here in our communities!

  14. sweet1

    August 25, 2014 at 7:54 am

    If those she called out would’ve came, what would’ve been her “ask”? There is crime riddling our communities but the ones who should care who can really make a difference are silent. We must put people in office who have our best interest at heart. Politics are controlled by money, which we have very little of. It seems as those black people who have the financial influence to control politics (as they do), could care less about us.

  15. Mister Reginald

    August 25, 2014 at 8:31 am

    Ferguson needs Ferguson. Ferguson does not need a talk show host. Ferguson does not need a self appointed leader from another city and state. Ferguson does not need an actor, entertainer or athlete. Ferguson needs the people of Ferguson. Ferguson has civic leaders, business leaders, clergy, educators and other people of authority and prominence. Ferguson needs those who live in the community. Those who know each other and will be able to call out those who are being disruptive and causing strife. Ferguson needs to train up and encourage those who are able to attend the police academy and become part of the Ferguson Police Force. Ferguson needs those who are eligible to get involved in city council, school board and local politics. Ferguson needs those who a year from now will still be in Ferguson assisting in change and ensuring things like this don’t happen again. Ferguson should be ashamed for having the reverends (Sharpton and Jackson and others not from the Ferguson area), talk show host who are there for just a story and will go back to life as usual a week or two from now and other notables. Jay-Z and the like can stay home and do what they do. Ferguson could use some assistance from those professional athletes, entertainer etc. from the St. Louis area. Why? Ferguson is part of their community. Ferguson supports and celebrates their team’s accomplishments. Ferguson residence buy their merchandise. Ferguson please take responsibility for Ferguson. Ferguson is your home, your community.

  16. David LFrankSr.

    August 25, 2014 at 9:37 am

    Finally, the valid questions are being asked!
    What about black on black crime?
    How do we organize?
    Where do we start first?
    Just to name a few, and there are many!
    Whether you live in an apartment or a home when it comes time for spring cleaning the whole place needs to be cleaned, but you have to start somewhere.
    Depending on the circumstance your place to start is the necessary and right choice.
    The necessary choice while the Ferguson Mo. situation is out front and in the spotlight is the right place to start.
    The time to test your plans and put your theories into a actual trial and.error process is in Ferguson Mo.
    Once you have sharpened your skills and discovered what works, what needs further development, and what needs more time to work themselves Into a long-term successful application then you can now approach the other issues that are just as important and need to be resolved.
    If. You are working together and create a blueprint then no matter who is named the foreman of the project the plan and not the man will always be what you follow.
    There won’t have to be constantly asked ” what do we do?” The blueprint answers that question every time!
    If you look how it’s done in the construction business every building required a blueprint of its own. Even though it has some of the same features as another building it is either going to have a different business inside of it, house a simar type of business, house the same business but it will hold more people.
    Regardless, it will need to have a blueprint drawn up so that the foreman and those designated to do the building can STAY on the same page THROUGHOUT THE ENTIRE PROCESS!
    For those inteteested in getting involved in reversing the destruction in our states, cities, towns, and blocks without a blueprint then what we’d intend to build can’t be done SUCCESSFULLY!
    Sure, we can all show up at the same place hopefully at the same time. But, whose going to know what to do. And, what will be the proper tool to use. What raw materials and resources will be needed.
    These are the things that when people are left to try o figurd out in an unorganized way ABSOLUTELY NOTHING GETS ACCOMPLISHED.
    Ferguson Mo. Is not just one site to build, but right now it’s ground zero and if a blue print can be successfully drawn up there, it can be successfully drawn up everywhere else one is needed.
    After watching Iyanla Vanzant bring her architectural skills to Ferguson Mo. We all need to put our minds and hearts together to figure this landscape out by properly surveying the land and BUILD!


    August 25, 2014 at 11:34 am


  18. AMarie

    August 25, 2014 at 12:20 pm

    @DavidLFrankSr. You have definitely spoken TRUTH! I can agree with what everyone has said as well but the blueprint is a necessity! Good day all

  19. sweet1

    August 25, 2014 at 12:55 pm

    I also think her presence would’ve been more sincere had she shown up without the t.v. crew.

  20. butch

    August 25, 2014 at 5:11 pm

    These are hip hop artists now-a-days, not rappers, or r & b singers! Its their choice to get involved. As we see these unforeseen occurrences are just touching the surfaces tho. Our government encourages this type violence in other countries as well. Until we had enough of innocent blood shed every where in this world, its only going to get worse. Its not about the race, its about GREED and CONTROL! We need to raise, train and educate our children. If not, we will lose them to SATAN.

  21. Iya Kai

    August 25, 2014 at 8:06 pm

    First, is the writer of this story Black? “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:” Do you have any knowledge of African culture? She wasn’t flinging water, she was pouring libation. Iyanla is a Yoruba priest and libation is an African style of prayer practiced all over the continent. SMH That sounded like something a white writer would say.

    Secondly, this issue has nothing to do with so-called “Black on Black” crime. No-one calls it white on white crime when they kill one another or asian on asian crime when they kill each other. etc. Stop using a term that the white press coined to demean our community! All people kill who’s closest to them — their own. Stop falling for the okey doke from the mainstream press and blamingthe victims. Wake up!

    This is about white police murdering our men, women and children in cold blood with no repercussions. this has been going on for centuries since we were brought here in bondage. This is about the “justice” system in a nation where there is no justice if you are Black. This is the same ‘justice” system that allowed 150 Black women to be lynched by white mobs (many of whom were law enforcment officials) between 1870 and1957 and no-one was brought to justice for their murders. What happened to that boy happens all over this nation on a frequent basis. If you’re not careful it can happen to you. You can do all the right things and still be shot or beat down.

    This doesn’t have a damn thing to do with Black people killing each other. Selina is the only one on this thread who gets it. And, the folks talking about how we don’t come out when a Black person is killed by another Black person — you’re wrong. Speak for yourself. I have particpated in, helped organized and covered as a reporter, numerous marches in Philadelphia regarding the violence in our communities. We have had marches with hundreds of Black people on this issue going back to the late 80s. We had several a few weeks ago.

    The question is — what are YOU doing in YOUR community? If no-one is organizing marches/meetings about the violence why aren’t YOU? Stop siitting back, pointing fingers, talking about what WE aren’t doing when it’s really what YOU aren’t doing. Look in the mirror, point your finger and ask why YOU aren ‘t doing something. Talk is real cheap. Your deeds speak for you. Get up off your comfortable a_ _ es and get to work!

    • Ladyday2u

      August 26, 2014 at 10:43 am

      Well said my Brother ! Our ancestors reality is still our own reality in retrospect. Theirs and our primary focus was/should be on “Education”, “Reading/Comprehension” “Writing”, “Math”, “Science”. “Literature”. Without those tools one generation fails the next one.

    • shelly

      August 28, 2014 at 8:50 am

      Yes, I’m black. I just didn’t think to say “libations,” but yes, I do know what that is.

  22. Connie Robertson

    August 25, 2014 at 9:08 pm

    We keep saying what about black on black crime….Or white people killing blacks…. What black people has done is we have gotten out of the site of God our young people not in church….We are doing this to ourselves because white people can be stop…We has to stand together by taking God with us first we have tried all the wrong thing why not try God. Obama is not the blame he is one man….celebrity is not the blame the blame is ourselves. Have anyone of you taken the time out and tutor these young kids. Help the to turn from their ways….. It a lot of pointing be we have three fingers pointing back at us….Our people can one get control of our life if we just stop hurting each other and kicking each other why they already down. God has brought us out of slavery so many time but it seem like we like to destroy each other.. We need the love the prayers for our kids, we need to put God back in us… Take these kids to church instead of letting the to stand on the street corner. Know where your kids are. Fathers be Fathers mother be mother teach them success instead if distress. Violent is not the way. Our kids are not animal…. Let stand and make a different by taking a young and help them become God kids…. The blame is not president Obama its us parents it starts at home…. We have to teach, work,and be there for our kids and stop letting the white man or his fellow black bothers and sister kill them like they don’t matters… May God bring us out of the white man curse…..

  23. Darrick

    August 26, 2014 at 12:09 pm

    I am from the neighboring area born and raised. But seriously I don’t know what to say about this. So I shall yield my comment and give praise to the mother of Michael Brown Jr. and how she has maintained strength and showed a community the correct way to grieve. My thoughts and prayers are with the family of Michael Brown and so many other families that suffer. Let’s focus on that. Who cares that Jay Z or who ever else is not there.

  24. WizardG

    August 26, 2014 at 6:04 pm

    Okay everyone is crazy..Nough said!
    I always cringe when I read people making a comparison between racist “white men” beating and killing “black” men and boys etc! I cringe because I know, as they should know, that there is no comparison between that, and black on black crime! I should not have to go through, breaking down the reasons why trying to compare the two, is ‘obtuse’ to say the least! I will say this. After over four hundred years of brutal slavery, brainwashing, assimilation, indoctrinations, Jim Crow and today’s newest form of brutal racist drug dumping, incarcerations, and assaults. I wonder why more of us aren’t so insane that we are unable to function altogether, in this society of madness! We may not see it and know it, but we have been driven completely insane! Yet we can never be as insane as those whites whom have driven us to the edge of sanity! They are completely berserk! They can drop two nuclear bombs on little children in Japan and feel no pain! I feel deep pain just thinking about it, and I wasn’t even old enough to be ‘forced to pay taxes’ into their “war/death machine” back then! They placed all Japanese Americans into concentration camps! They feel no pain! They support the Jews today whom are dropping bombs on, and murdering little Palestinian babies! This time they give the Jews ‘my tax money’, and ‘our’, financial support to the tune of nearly five billion a year! What? Why!? They kill each other as well..Every single day! You have but to watch ID TV to see the growing stories of white on white murders! We are a part of their world. Remember that! You crazy folks! They murdered the native Americans here, and took their lands! They murdered Africans in Africa before they began to kidnap and force people into slavery! Their King Leopold of the Netherlands had black Africans chopping off each other’s limbs for his toll of Rubber for the tires of “white”America’s automobiles! Make no mistake. They ‘instigated’ the Rwandan genocide! The story goes on and on! They dump drugs into our neighborhoods and create the gang violence! They get millions of us hooked on drugs, then create a “War on Drugs”, to dump our people into their recently ‘rich-white’ privatized prison systems! Who had the inside political connections on that? They own everything! Them and their “Jewish counterparts”! We don’t have any protections from them! So they use their hateful mentally retarded incited “law enforcement” to gun down some of us like wild animals! They are conditioned to think of us in the most ‘negative’ of terms! Some of us are conditioned to think of us in the same way! They know just how to continue to manipulate and control our minds in the most seductive and sensitive ways! We think we know them. But if we did we wouldn’t play along in their fake, fraudulent, facade of fantasy and games! They have us ‘actually thinking’ it safe to raise children here, and when our children are shot down by them, we think something must have gone wrong with One or Two cops!? Are you crazy! Of course you are, but no-one can tell you what you should already know! Do you know where you are, and who these people are? Maybe you do, and then again..maybe you don’t! Because if you knew who you were dealing with, you would find some way to at least buy some protection for your people like the Jews have for theirs! Okay everyone is crazy..Nough said!

  25. Karen

    August 27, 2014 at 12:17 am

    It always amazes me in these situations no one ever wants to look at the real problem which is “what are children learning or not learning in their homes? Iylana said where is the leadership which again should come from the home. I have a son now in his 30’s I’m not going to say he didn’t listen to rap music outside of my home but because of it’s negative content it was not permitted in my home. If memory serves me correctly wasn’t there a rap song with lyrics about “killing the police.” Who or whom celebrity nor non celebrity to my recollection came out in protest or voice to correct and advise those who were most impressed, Women have failed their sons and partners we expect nothing from them, not only do we receive nothing the community receives nothing I work in a community where I very often see young men living off young women who live off the government. I see young mothers with young children who fight physically in the streets providing entertainment to the neighborhood, Although I recently required a young mother clean the exterior of her leased property her respone “this is a hood you act like it’s the suburbs. I corrected her and said if it is a hood it’s because you treat it that way
    it is you home because if it’s what you can afford it needs to be respected and taken care of her mentality is fed to her children how then does it become everybody elses fault because children from uneducated unlearned uncaring ignorant parents becone everybody elses responsibility. I see it all the time the government takes care of people who didn’t care enough to take care of themselves or their families didn’t care enough to educate theirselves it is somebody elses fault, Honestly and unfortunately people are judged by their actions their appearance and their words social media shos people of color fighting one another in the streets like dogs now adays females mothers, daughters, and sisters, Black men notorious for being with white women big strike against you I know educated Black men who hold contempt toward uneducated, loud and obnoxious Black men who are ashamed of deadbeat Black men we were at a local rally several years ago about inner city crime young man blamed the teachers, the police, blamed the government someone yelled out “you need to blame your crack head mother.” the young man had said his mother was on drugs, As I end my opinion page I say this it is important to everyone who believes “what the Lord says.” the wages of sin is death not to be determined by us, young Mr. Brown choose to walk into a grocery store intimidate whoever was working there walk out with an unpaid item (THEFT) Bible says thou shalt not steal, people are saying “Young Mr. Brown had no juvenile record I say from viewing the footage he didn’t appear to be nervous like a first time robber, so I may be wrong but will assume he just never got caught, I will also go out on a limb and say it looks like he had violated someone elses rights and caused someone else some fear who didn’t appear to do anything to cause it or had not deserved it. So I’ve wondered did the Lord allow it to happen because Thou shalt not steal is a commandment, a written law of the Almighty, the Lord is in command and in charge, The commandment and law of the Lord also says “Thou shalt not kill.” I personally have always interpeted that to mean “only “God gives life only he can take it away to take a life you did not give means yours even in life is over. So if this was arranged by the Creator of all living things there is a GREAT LESSON TO BE LEARNED parents don’t look at eveyone else to be the teacher. leader and role model of your children, be respectful so they may learn to respect, don’t curse your kids, they think it’s okay because mommy, daddy, grandma and grandpa did it so its okay to do it to someone else, teach your children the imporyance of education, if you don’t have one, how’s that working for you be concerned about your child’s future it’s closer than you think, teach your child to respect the teacher and teach your child and yourself if necessary to PRAY and believe in Yourself. If you think the officer will get away with it think again but again God may have had a plan you may not understand, God Bless all crime ridden neighborhoods and your local police departments. Couldn’t imagine being a teacher or police in the inner city no love, no respect and it’s your fault or somebody elses fault

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