Fantasia Barrino found herself surrounded by controversy after she announced her headlining concert in Charlotte, N.C. this weekend. It was an event that was intended to spark change as well as encourage unity; however, there was one detail that had many people shaking their heads: The show’s name.
On Sunday morning, the 32-year-old went to social media to share the concert’s flyer, which billed the event as “Hear Me Now! – All Lives Matter.” As many of you know, the phrase “All Lives Matter” was created in response to the Black Lives Matter movement, and is widely considered dismissive to the BLM cause. Of course, Twitter had a lot to say about it.
The event's lineup also included Dennis Reed, John P. Kee, and Anthony Hamilton; the latter was quick to defend himself on social media, insisting he did not approve the wording on the flyer.
The event was originally scheduled to take place Sunday evening, but it has since been postponed to next weekend. Fantasia made the announcement via a Facebook video, in which she also released a statement on the concert and its "All Lives Matter" title.
"I understand that our people are still in poverty and we’re not getting certain things that we deserve. I understand that, but the only way we’re going to get it is not through tearing up buildings," she said while sitting next to her husband, Kendall Taylor. "Two thousand years ago, Jesus ended the debate on which lives matter. He died for all us. All of us. Martin Luther King stood for love and unity for all people. United we stand, divided we fall. Let’s all stand together. So black lives matter, yes they do. All lives matter.”
Taylor also shared his thoughts on the controversy, insisting people are failing to see the bigger picture.
"It’s real easy to critique somebody sitting behind your desk, or behind your smartphone […] and you’re talking about a word between ‘all’ and ‘black’," Taylor said in the video. “Black lives matter because all lives matter."
"What kind of flyer do ya’ll want?" he insisted. "We’ll send out some individual flyers. You hit us up, you let us know what flyer is going to get you motivated to come into the street. You want a blue flyer? You want a green flyer? Rainbow flyer? A purple flyer? Whatever flyer it takes to get you to fly to your house and fly away from your excuses […] Put all the details to the side. Pick up your sword, put on your armor, gird yourself, and have something to fight for."
You can check out the video above. Stay tuned as more information about next week's concert as it comes through.