While the music industry observed Blackout Tuesday on June 2 across social media in response to the recent murders of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery and countless other black citizens at the hands of police, A.Chal was encouraging his followers to “wake up.”
“I ain’t buying this blackout trend,” he wrote on Instagram, expressing that most people posted a black image just to ride the wave without really supporting the cause. “We gotta come together and hold each other responsible!! I will not stay silent!! I will educate myself and others.”
The Peruvian-born artist, who has collaborated with Latin artists such as Lali, Darell, and Fuego, is one of the thousands of people who has taken the streets to protest against racial injustice and police brutality in the U.S.
“This is something we even deal with within our own countries, whether it’s the black or indigenous community,” he exclusively tells Billboard. “We need to shift the mindset of feeling like black isn’t as good as white in our culture, that’s where it starts.”
As part of Billboard’s “Why I Protest” series, A.Chal shares why it matters, more than ever, to stand in solidarity with the black community and encourages other Latinos to join the fight for justice.
Which protest did you take part in?
I was at both the Hollywood and Santa Monica protests in Los Angeles.
Describe your experience at the demonstration.
There was a lot of anger and frustration, of course. People are having a hard time swallowing the reality of where we’re at as a country. Still more than all that, I felt lots of unity, love, and peace. It’s great to see young people coming together and leading the path.
What does it mean to you as a Latinx artist to be involved in the BLM protests?
I don’t look at it like that. I just look at it as me supporting my brothers and sisters.
How do you encourage the Latino community to support the Black Lives Matter movement?
I feel like we need to have those conversations in our Latin Communities that we’ve shoved under the rug for years about how we feel about the black community. This is something we even deal with within our own countries whether it’s the black or indigenous community. We need to shift the mindset of feeling like black isn’t as good as white in our culture, that’s where it starts. We need to be aware of the things we’ve also taken from the black communities to make our lives better and honor that too. We need to look at them as allies and come together to create real impact.
Can you share a safety tip for attending a protest in times of a pandemic?
Follow the peace, stay away from the cops. If you see under-covers looting, placing bricks, trying to instigate riots; call them out and document it! We need to educate everyone about what’s happening.