These celebrities risked their careers for civil rights and our current celebs are indebted to them.
Eartha Kitt — the OG Cat Woman — was also known for her activism working with at-risk youth, her role as a feminist icon and her vocal criticism of the Vietnam war. This also led her to become a target of the CIA. She also knows how to speak her mind. When she was invited to the White House in 1968, she ended up making the first lady cry. Though the media antagonized her, she risked everything to stand up for what she believed in.
Nina Simone was known for her bold blend of jazz, classical soul and gospel music. She used her music to blatantly address issues of racial inequality and oppression in the U.S. Her radical view led people to boycott her music, which injured her career, but her legacy continues regardless.
Paul Robeson was an international superstar in the 1930s. His deep baritone voice and supreme acting chops led him to take on complex black roles in a time when most roles relied on racist stereotypes. Robeson was the 1st African American to star in a leading role bit his increasingly vocal positions on racism in the U.S. and his involvement with anti-fascist and anti-imperialist moments across the globe caused him to be blacklisted during the McCarthy era.
Thanks to these celebrities’ heroic sacrifices, our current celebs are able to continue their work without fear.