Rapper and actor Common paid tribute to dead Missouri teenager Michael Brown during the MTV Video Music Awards on Sunday, when the network also aired two 15-second public service announcements about the civil rights protests Brown’s death inspired.
While presenting the award for best hip hop video, Common asked the audience to take a moment of silence in honor of the black 18 year old, who was shot to death by a police officer in Ferguson, Mo. earlier this month.
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“Hip hop has always presented a voice for the revolution,” Common said (see video above). “I want us all to take a moment of silence for Mike Brown and for peace in this country, and in the world.”
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Violent protests erupted in the St. Louis suburb after Darren Wilson, a white officer, shot Brown — who was unarmed — six times.
The star-studded audience in attendance at the Forum in Inglewood, Calif. obliged Common‘s request for a few seconds before he proceeded to name the nominees and award Drake‘s “Hold On (We’re Going Home).”
MTV joined the Ferguson movement by airing two spots — one before the show, and one during — aimed at crushing racial stereotypes, as well as challenging the country to face police brutality and discrimination.
The videos are part of the Look Different campaign, which was developed by MTV, the Anti-Defamation League, the NAACP, the National Council of La Raza and the Southern Poverty Law Center.
Watch the short PSA’s below:
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