While Lizzo is known for making buoyant, feel-good tunes, she’s also always been outspoken when it comes to matters of social justice. In an upcoming episode of David Letterman’s Netflix series My Next Guest Needs No Introduction, Lizzo recounts her experience witnessing the Black Lives Matter movement over the years.
Speaking to Letterman about watching the country react to acts of police violence had made her numb. However, seeing the immense allyship following the murder of George Floyd this June has made her feel “hopeful” for the first time:
“As a Black citizen of this country, I’ve been heartbroken by the way we’ve been treated and seen my entire life. I remember there was a murder of a young Black person, unarmed, in Minneapolis down the street from my house. His name was Jamar Clark. I wrote this song called ‘My Skin’ and I was very like, ‘We gotta make a change.’ We were camping out in front of the precinct, we were getting shot at by God-knows-who. It was scary, it was dark times. And then, Tamir Rice, who was 12 years old, was just playing at a park and got shot within seconds by a police officer. Within seconds, a young, Black, 12-year-old boy. And people politicized it. How can you politicize the murder of a child? And I was so numb that I lost all hope for any kind of change in this country.
Change is painful and I think you have to sign yourself up for that. This time, I saw something different. I saw the sudden allyship of young white people, which I had never seen. And I also saw people in the news realize that it’s more than just a hashtag and a moment and a movement and that it’s not just us complaining — it’s a real, systemic poison. And that got me for the first time a little hopeful. […] I can’t help but to be optimistic and hopeful.”
Watch a clip of Lizzo’s interview with Letterman above.
Lizzo is a Warner Music artist. Uproxx is an independent subsidiary of Warner Music Group.