Alicia Keys recruits celebs for racial justice video

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Alicia Keys recruits celebs for racial justice video

NEW YORK - Alicia Keys and a host of other stars, including Beyonce, Bono, Rihanna, Taraji P. Henson and Chris Rock, appear in a powerful video released Wednesday that describes ‘‘23 ways you could be killed if you are black in America.’’

The video made the social media rounds after its release on, spawning its own hashtag, 23Ways, and thousands of shares and comments. In black and white, it juxtaposes 23 artists with photos of 23 black victims of violence, with each star noting the acts that led to their deaths, mainly after interactions with police.

Many of the deaths led to intense anger and frustration among African-Americans, and kicked off protests that grew into the Black Lives Matter movement.

In an interview Wednesday, Keys said she was inspired by a story earlier this month written by Jamilah King under the headline: ‘‘23 Everyday Actions Punishable by Death if You’re Black in America.’’

It was written after Alton Sterling was killed by police in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, after an altercation caught on video by a bystander.

The story’s approach, listing everyday things like laughing, sitting in your car, attending a birthday party, was Keys’ call to action.

‘‘It was just so powerful because it was all just so trivial,’’ she said.

‘‘I just felt so devastated and frustrated and angry, saddened and disappointed. Those are the same feelings that we all feel.’’

Keys said it was easy to round up enough of her famous artists to hit the 23 mark.

‘‘Each and every person I reached out to responded so quickly,’’ she said.

‘‘They were feeling exactly how I’m feeling and they were just ready.’’ AP
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