Lizzo Calls Out Institutional Racism During Global Citizen Performance

"It's time to talk about things, and it's time to make a change,” the Grammy winner said.

Lizzo rocked the stage at Global Citizen Live, which took place at New York City's Central Park on Sept. 25. However, she also took the time to address some issues across the world.

"Thank you so much to Global Citizen for having me," she began, according to PEOPLE.
"You know, big Black girl from Detroit by way of Houston, Texas, doing big ass things with my life. I'm just so grateful every time I can step on the stage and sing for y'all. Thank you so much."

The 33-year-old continued, "And now I'm a rich bitch, that's exciting, that's never happened. I'll be like, 'What kind of rich bitch do I want to be?' And I decided I want to be a philanthropist. I want to give back. Why would god give me so much if I can't give it back? So thank you so much for giving me the opportunity to give back."

Lizzo reminded the audience that Central Park was once Seneca Village. At its height, Seneca Village was a robust community of nearly 300 people that existed between the 1820s and 1850s. Though it was a predominantly Black neighborhood, housing some of the first Black property owners in the city, it was also home to white European immigrants, who were coexisting peacefully with their African-American neighbors. 

By the 1850s, New York City took over the area via eminent domain and then came plans for Central Park. Seneca Village, and the thriving community that lived there, was decimated.

She also added, "As we talk about climate change and making the world a better place and solving homelessness, we also have to talk about the institutionalized racism that happens in this country all the time.  And if we don't talk about our history constructively, how can we build a better future? It's time to talk about things, and it's time to make a change. And it starts within. You got to better to yourself, so you can be better to others."

RELATED: BET Awards Performance: Lizzo - "Truth Hurts"

See a clip below:

Latest News

Subscribe for BET Updates

Provide your email address to receive our newsletter.

Select the types of notification you would like to receive from us. Please note, you must choose at least one.

By clicking subscribe, I consent to receiving newsletters and other marketing emails. Newsletters are subject to our Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. Users can unsubscribe at any time.