Beyonce performs on stage at the 57th Annual Grammy Awards in Los Angeles on Feb. 8, 2015.
ROBYN BECK/AFP/Getty Images
Sprinkled through out the 57th Grammy Awards on Sunday, Feb. 8 were tributes to the “Black Lives Matter” movement, which is a call to action and response to anti-Black racism created after unjust deaths of young black men.
The 57th Grammy Awards
Pharrell Williams — who won three Grammy awards (Best Urban Contemporary Album, Best Pop Performance) — led a “Hands Up, Don’t Shoot” demonstration during his performance of “Happy.” Williams payed homage to late 18-year old, unarmed Michael Brown who was killed by a police officer Darren Wilson in Ferguson, Mo. The “Hands Up, Don’t Shoot” gesture originates from Brown’s shooting and was seen during protests that proceeded the Ferguson grand jury’s decision to not indict the Wilson.
Williams’ backup dancers wore black hoodies, such as Trayvon Martin did when killed at 17-years old 2012 by George Zimmerman.
Before presenting Beck with the Album of the Year award, Prince reminded the audience of the influential movement: “Albums still matter. Like books and black lives, they still matter.”
During Beyoncé‘s spectacular gospel performance of “Precious Lord Take My Hand” — written by Gospel legend Thomas A. Dorsey — the all male choir behind her raised their hands, also acting out the “Hands Up, Don’t Shoot” gesture.