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Actress Zendaya sta down with Black Lives Matter co-founder Patrisse Cullors, where she shared that she feared for her father’s lives following the deaths of Philando Castile and Alton Sterling.
“I have always hesitated to use the word “activist” for myself. That is a lifestyle. That is a choice every day to be doing the work and devoting your life to a cause. And I don’t feel I am deserving of the title. There are a lot of words that better describe what I do. I’m an actress, but I’m also just a person who has a heart and wants to do the right thing,” Zendaya shared with InStyle.
Castile, 32, was shot in 2016 after telling an officer he had a gun permit and was armed. The officer, Jeronimo Yanez, said that he felt his life was in danger because he smelled marijuana in his car. He was acquitted.
In the case of the July 2018 killing of Sterling, 37, uniformed officers responded to a disturbance call from someone who said a Black man who was selling CDs threatened him with a gun. Officer claimed that “an altercation between Sterling and the officers ensued — before he was shot multiples times in his chest and back.
“I care about human beings, so this time is very hard to talk about. It’s painful. I remember when I was with my dad in Atlanta shooting the first Spider-Man movie, and it was around the time that the murders of Philando Castile and Alton Sterling happened. I was extremely emotional, and I remember thinking about my dad, who was out picking up food at the time. And I started worrying and calling him like, “Are you OK?” I didn’t want him to go out and do anything. But my dad is a 65-year-old Black man. He’s been on this planet a long time, so he knows what he knows. But I still had that fear, and that scared me.”