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Rihanna urges allies to join the fight and ‘pull up’ in rousing NAACP Image Awards speech

The musician delivered an impassioned call for people who consider themselves allies to show up for their friends of color.

Rihanna urges allies to join the fight and ‘pull up’ in rousing NAACP Image Awards speech
[Photo: courtesy of NAACP]
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We don’t call Rihanna “Bad Girl RiRi” for nothing.

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It shouldn’t be surprising that the Bajan musician, entrepreneur, and philanthropist brought down the house at Saturday’s 51st NAACP Image Awards with a rousing speech. She was honored with the prestigious President’s Award for the work she does through her nonprofit, the Clara Lionel Foundation, which funds education and emergency response programs around the world. In an age of performative wokeness, she urged everyone in the room to tell their nonblack friends to pull up. What that means is, anyone who claims to be an ally should step up and prove that they truly care about all people because the gist of what she’s saying is, we’re all in this together.

“How many of us in this room have colleagues and partners and friends from other races, sexes, religions, show of hands? Well then, they want to break bread with you, right? They like you? Well then, this is their problem, too,” she said in her acceptance speech. “So when we’re marching and protesting and posting about the Michael Brown Jr’s and the Atatiana Jeffersons of the world, tell your friends to pull up.”

Some heroes rock stilettos.

Rihanna’s fans might be frustrated that she hasn’t released new music yet, but she’s busy trying to save the world, and for that the wait is worth it.