Jamie Foxx Says He, Will Smith, Jay Z, Kanye Should Be the New Civil Rights Leaders

Speaking off-the-cuff, without prepared remarks at Wednesday’s March on Washington 50th anniversary event, actor Jamie Foxx called on his peers in the entertainment industry to pick up where Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and other civil rights leaders left off. Foxx said it was up to him, “Will Smith, Jay Z, Kanye, Alicia Keys, Kerry Washington” and others to continue the struggle for equality.”

“I will tell you right now that everybody my age and all the entertainers, it is time for us to stand up and renew this dream,” Foxx began. He said he as “affected” and inspired to action by the Trayvon Martin case and the Newtown shooting and urged others to join him in speaking out.

Foxx told a story about a dinner he had with the legendary Harry Belafonte–complete with an expert impression of the singer’s voice–and his 19-year-old daughter. When Belafonte reflected on marching with “Al, Jesse and Martin” he and his daughter did not at first know he was referring to Al Sharpton, Jesse Jackson and Martin Luther King.

“What we need to do now is the young folks pick it up now,” Foxx told the crowd, “so that when we’re 87 years old, talking to the young folks, we can say it was me, Will Smith, Jay Z, Kanye, Alicia Keys, Kerry Washington, the list goes on and on.”

Watch video below, via C-SPAN:

[photo via screengrab]

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