When receiving the Social Justice Impact Award at the 54th Annual NAACP Image Awards held Saturday night, famed civil rights attorney Ben Crump issued a call to action to fight for Black history, to fight for the Tyre Nichols of the world and to fight for the future of next generation.
Said Crump, “Accepting this award is greater motivation to continue to be an unapologetic defender of Black life, Black liberty, and Black humanity. I promise I will use the Social Justice Award as great incentive to fight against the legalized genocide of colored people and vow never to stop by fighting racism and discrimination when it rears its ugly head.”
For the last two decades Crump has taken on some of the nation’s highest profile civil rights and police abuse cases, with his client list including the families of Trayvon Martin, Michael Brown, George Floyd, Keenan Anderson, Breonna Taylor, Tamir Rice, Ahmaud Arbery and most recently, Tyre Nichols.
“We all have a role to play, so I will continue to fight in the court of law and the court of public opinion. And now that they are trying to ban our most celebrated black authors and AP African American studies, we must advocate for our children and our culture in the classrooms, and demand that they acknowledge the teaching of Black history matters,” he continued, as he went on to call the name of such history makers as Frederick Douglass, Martin Luther King Jr., Rosa Parks, Malcolm X, Harriet Tubman and John Lewis.
“They were not mere footnotes in the history books. They were the heroes. We will not let elected officials exterminate our history, our literature, or our culture. Not in Florida or any of the other 50 states, because it is so important that both Black children and white children and all children know that Black history matters. Because Black history is American history.”
To a standing and cheering ovation, Crump concluded: “We are prepared to fight for Black history in and outside of the courtrooms just as hard as we will continue to fight for the George Floyds of the world, for the Breonna Taylors of the world, for the Ahmaud Arberys of the world, for the Trayvon Martins of the world and now for the Tyre Nichols of the world, because we have to stand up for our children’s future. Because if we don’t fight for our children’s future, we can’t expect anybody else to fight for our children’s future.
“We have to be ready to fight for our children’s future until hell freezes over and then we have to be ready to fight on the ice.”