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Queen Latifah Speaks At Hip Hop Honors: 'Racism Is Still Alive And Kicking'

Illustration for article titled Queen Latifah Speaks At Hip Hop Honors: Racism Is Still Alive And Kicking

On Monday evening, VH1 held the 2016 Hip Hop Honors to pay tribute to the women of hip hop. During the ceremony, Queen Latifah stood up to deliver a brief but blazing speech.

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She championed her fellow female artists as the foundation upon which hip hop has flourished. “All of these queens in this building, we built hip hop,” she declared. “We built hip hop. And there’s no way that I can allow us to be erased from the history or the future of hip hop.”

Latifah then transitioned from women’s legacy in hip hop to the uneasy, bitter climate in the wake of so many shootings. And regarding systemic racism, she was clear. “If I go outside and try to hail a cab, and he passes me for the white woman, that racism is still alive and kicking,” said Latifah. “And we need to change that. And I’m not blaming the white lady, she needed a cab too.”

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You can follow the link below to watch the full speech at Billboard.com.


Top Image via Getty. Embedded Image via Twitter.

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DISCUSSION

It’s amazing to hear any celebrity name the struggle, even more when its one of the only queer black women with tangible celebrity. Queen Latifah has been an under-appreciated force for queer women 0f color, even as many have rightfully critiqued her for remaining silent as certain times.

We can’t expect a singular voice to pierce through the barrages of hatred and adequately represent all oppression, but we can and should lift Queen Latifah up as more then white American perceives her to be.