Celebrities Rally Support For Black-Owned Businesses Destroyed By Riots

(Credit: BRYAN R. SMITH/AFP via Getty Images)

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Several celebrities have been fundraising to rebuild black-owned businesses that were destroyed or damaged by the riots during the past week. 

After the death of George Floyd, a black man who died in Minneapolis police custody after an officer kneeled on his neck for more than eight minutes, protests began across the country and turned violent in many places. Rioters vandalized and looted businesses, leaving them badly damaged or completely destroyed. 

Celebrities have taken to social media to show their support for the Black Lives Matter movement over the past several days, including support for charities dedicated to rebuilding black-owned businesses.

Lizzo posted a link to We Love Lake Street, a charity dedicated to rebuilding the Lake Street businesses in Minneapolis, which are mostly owned by immigrants and people of color, according to the charity’s website.

“Minneapolis is as fed up as they are resilient,” Lizzo said in an Instagram video. She gave thanks to “the peaceful organization in Minneapolis,” saying that “we see you, even if the media chooses not to cover you.”

Her Instagram post also included links to the Minnesota Freedom Fund, which pays the bail for those arrested while protesting, and a petition to defund the Minneapolis Police Department. 

Rapper Kanye West has donated over $2 million to charity, including funds to help black-owned businesses in his community of Chicago, the Chicago Tribune reported. (RELATED: Kanye West Joins George Floyd Protesters In Chicago)

The rapper has also set up a college tuition fund for Floyd’s 6-year-old daughter and promised to cover the legal costs for the families of Ahmaud Arbery, an unarmed black man who was shot while jogging in February, and Breonna Taylor, who was shot by police officers in her home in March. 

Celebrity Stylist Law Roach said on Instagram that he’s using $25,000 to help black-owned businesses rebuild. 

“If you are a black business that is destroyed and you are not insured I’m starting a fund with 25k of my own money to help rebuild,” he said. “And I’m asking my friends in fashion to donate as well.”

A fundraiser by the West Broadway Business and Area Coalition and the Northside Funders Group has raised over $1.5 million to help businesses in Minneapolis who were affected by the protests or coronavirus pandemic. The organizers are hoping to reach $5 million in donations. 

The Northside Funders Group said in a Facebook post that “Restore North will help the community rebuild, with 100% of all proceeds going directly to affected businesses and the community.”

“Despite centuries of deliberate disinvestment by institutions both public and private, North Minneapolis is home to vibrant neighborhoods, thriving businesses, and resilient residents,” they said.