Hollywood Stars Invoke "Black Lives Matter" in Mourning Murder of Nia Wilson
Anne Hathaway, Viola Davis and Tracee Ellis Ross are among the actors who've taken to social media to speak out about the death of the 18-year-old from Oakland, California, who was fatally stabbed on Sunday night.
In the days following 18-year-old Nia Wilson's death, Hollywood stars have taken to social media with messages of sadness, solidarity and calls for justice.
Wilson, a young black woman from Oakland, was fatally stabbed by a white man at the BART MacArthur Station on Sunday evening. Her sister, Latifah Wilson, 26, was also stabbed and hospitalized for her wounds, but has since been released.
On Wednesday, Anne Hathaway posted an impassioned response to Wilson's murder on Instagram, stressing the role that white people play in violence against black people in the United States.
"White people DO NOT have equivalence for this fear of violence," Hathaway wrote. "Given those givens, we must ask our (white)selves- how "decent" are we really? Not in our intent, but in our actions? In our lack of action?"
The man suspected of killing Wilson, 27-year-old John Cowell, was arrested by police on Monday evening. BART Police Chief Carlos Rojas described Cowell "as a violent felon who is currently on parole," and that the attack appeared to be "unprovoked" and "unwarranted."
Dear White People star Logan Browning reposted Hathaway's words on her own Instagram, echoing Hathaway's call to action.
"You as a person who is white in America can make the effort to understand the experience of those who are not, and be vocal about the truth," Browning wrote. "Be an ally. Be an amplifier."
Many stars, including Lena Waithe, Bruno Mars and Rose McGowan have posted photos and art of Wilson on their personal accounts, along with the hashtags #SayHerName and #JusticeForNia.
"Why do we have to die to become immortal?" Waithe tweeted.
Protests and rallies in Wilson's honor have been held in Oakland and other parts of California. In a recent analysis of homicide arrests, The Washington Post reported that black victims, who account for the majority of homicides, were the least likely of any racial group to have their killings result in an arrest.
"Tired of needing to organize rally's to convince people that our lives matter," actress Viola Davis tweeted. "To the killer...I will NOT say your name. To Nia...we will shout yours from the rooftops!!!"
Wilson was also a rapper. At a vigil on Monday, one of Wilson's sisters blasted her music for the crowd.
Tracee Ellis Ross tweeted a widely shared video of black rapper Chika Oranika rapping about Wilson's death.
"Our bodies and our humanity deserve safety and joy," the Black-ish actress wrote alongside the video.
Singer and Oakland native Kehlani tweeted in response to Wilson's death on Monday, when the police manhunt for Cowell was still in progress.
"#BART manages to catch riders who haven't paid ticket fair, young graffiti artists, you can catch a murderer," the singer wrote, "give her family some peace and get a murderous white supremecist off of oakland streets."
Actress Sophia Bush affirmed Hathaway's words in an Instagram post yesterday, writing that violence against women is a societal issue all people must address.
"She is us." Bush wrote. "And violence against women of color needs to be called out by ALL of us."
Why do we have to die to become immortal? pic.twitter.com/gsDIz8qYTq— Lena Waithe (@LenaWaithe) July 25, 2018
#BART manages to catch riders who haven’t paid ticket fair, young graffiti artists, you can catch a murderer. give her family some peace and get a murderous white supremecist off of oakland streets.— Kehlani (@Kehlani) July 23, 2018
You know.....at what point will it stop? I'm getting tired of the heartbreak. Tired of needing to organize rally's to convince people that our lives matter. To the killer...I will NOT say your name. To Nia...we will shout yours from the rooftops!!! pic.twitter.com/2i03JfCQgS— Viola Davis (@violadavis) July 25, 2018
Nia Wilson & Her Sister Are Heavy On My Heart & Mind.— Ashley Blaine Featherson (@AshleyBlaine) July 24, 2018
Sad. Angry. Nia Wilson had her whole life ahead of her. We have got to do better. Find this man. https://t.co/m8ELCFH6us— Daveed Diggs (@DaveedDiggs) July 24, 2018
Nia Wilson was murdered by a white terrorist. Say her name. Pray for her family. She was 18.pic.twitter.com/FJRONoTsT6— laura dreyfuss (@lauradreyfuss) July 25, 2018
The thing that feels right to me is to keep uplifting your name and the kind & loving human being you were . You had a family that loved you . You were a sister , a daughter , and meant something important to your entire family and community . You had a future . As you were helping someone else you were murdered . Your life mattered #NiaWilson . Your name means something to us and we won’t stop saying it . #SAYHERNAME #BLACKLIVESMATTER #BLACKWOMENLIVESMATTER Artwork by: @broobs.psd
Part of being a person of color awakened to the injustices of black people is constantly being aware and heartbroken about yet another person of color wrongfully taken from this world because of a situation based in fear or hate. It’s a part of the process to share and protest about it, but it is heavy on the heart. I wish more people who are white would take note of what @annehathaway just did and said. Please share this weight in the world with us. Please share the injustices on your social medias sometimes. Your person/page doesn’t have to turn into a walking picket sign, but you make the effort to post about the women’s marches, you make the effort to post about senseless gun violence, and you take the time to post about bullying/homophobia. You as a person who is white in America can make the effort to understand the experience of those who are not, and be vocal about the truth. Be an ally. Be an amplifier. If this is the home of the brave, prove it #NiaWilson #sayhername
The murder of Nia Wilson- may she rest in the power and peace she was denied here- is unspeakable AND MUST NOT be met with silence. She is not a hash tag; she was a black woman and she was murdered in cold blood by a white man. White people- including me, including you- must take into the marrow of our privileged bones the truth that ALL black people fear for their lives DAILY in America and have done so for GENERATIONS. White people DO NOT have equivalence for this fear of violence. Given those givens, we must ask our (white)selves- how “decent” are we really? Not in our intent, but in our actions? In our lack of action? Peace and prayers and JUSTICE for Nia and the Wilson family xx Note: the comments for this post are closed. #blacklivesmatter #antiracist #noexcuse #sayhername #earntherighttosayhername