John Legend Says He Was a Victim of Racial Profiling at Penn
R&B crooner John Legend was among a handful of musicians who appeared last night on A&E’s “Shining a Light Concert,” a special about race in America.
To promote the program, he gave an interview to USA Today in which he recalls being a victim of racial profiling when he attending the University of Pennsylvania. When asked if he’d experienced racism on a personal level, he answered:
(In college) I used to get asked to show my ID to get in my car because they suspected I might be trying to steal my own car. And to me, in the story of my life, that’s a minor thing, but for some people that interaction goes wrong and you read about them on the news. And the fact that black men have to deal with that level of suspicion at all times, no matter if they’re Ivy League or what — you know I’m an Ivy League student going to school in West Philadelphia and they treat me like a criminal. That level of suspicion that’s attached to all of us because of our skin color is a heavy burden to carry all the time. And because of that, there’s often a lot of mistrust and there’s a lot of resentment that we see boil over sometimes into these uprisings.
On the special, Legend sang “Bridge Over Troubled Water,” and, in two different segments, spoke to women of the St. Louis Police Wives Association and Capt. Ron Johnson of the Missouri Highway Patrol about the civil unrest in Ferguson and ways to establish trust between law enforcement and the public.
A handful of local-born celebrities took part in the show: including Bruce Springsteen and Doylestown pop star Pink (who sang with Legend). Jill Scott performed on the program, too: a stirring rendition of recent Philadelphia Walk of Fame inductee Billie Holiday‘s “Strange Fruit.” Check that out below:
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