Just prior to the album's release, Dr. King's daughter Bernice King praised Bieber for his activism.
It was a massive release night at the top of Friday (March 19) morning and one of the most anticipated records of the day came from Justin Bieber. The singer returned with Justice, a follow-up to last year's Changes, and fans quickly learned that Bieber and Co. decided to included speeches by Civil Rights icon Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. throughout the project. Bieber has often been accused of leaning on Black culture for profit, but he has repeatedly stated that he wouldn't be who he is without the help of Black people and Black music.
Bieber's name began to trend with the King controversy, but the day before Justice's release, Dr. King's daughter, activist Bernice King, thanked the singer for his support. Bieber tweeted, "In honor of #Justice I’m supporting organizations that embody what justice looks like in action." Bernice King retweeted the message and added, "Each of us, including artists and entertainers, can do something. Thank you, @justinbieber, for your support, in honor of #Justice, of @TheKingCenter’s work and of our #BeLove campaign, which is a part of our global movement for justice. #MLK #EndRacism."
According to Rolling Stone, Bieber reportedly spoke about his decision to include Dr. King's speeches on Justice. “What I wanted to do with this was amplify [Dr.] Martin Luther King Jr’s voice to this generation. Being Canadian, it wasn’t so much a part of my culture," said the singer. He also discussed his "MLK Interlude."
“This speech was actually during the time when [he had] a feeling that he was going to die for the cause, and what he was standing up against was ultimately racism and division," Bieber added. "I think his message was that a lot of people can be afraid to stand up for what is right, but if you’re not standing up for justice — for what is right — what are you doing with your life? I’m sorry to get so deep, but these are the times we’re living in. That’s why I wanted to make this album because I think it’s very timely and very necessary.”
Have you checked out Justice yet?