Originally, Wonder announced his pledge to boycott the state during a performance in Quebec City, Canada, and it was this decision that led others to follow his lead.
“I decided today that until the ‘Stand Your Ground’ law is abolished in Florida, I will never perform there again,” he told the audience. “As a matter of fact, wherever I find that law exists, I will not perform in that state or in that part of the world.”
Joining the singer’s initiative, Mary Mary confirmed their participation in the boycott via Instagram, stating “We will stand with Stevie Wonder and boycott Florida until the Stand Your Ground law is changed.”
On Twitter, Levert expressed his support, tweeting, “Well!!!!! I’m going to join MR STEVIE WONDER IN HIS BOYCOTT OF FLORIDA I EDDIE LEVERT WILL NOT PLAY FLORIDA UNTIL THEY CHANGE THEIR GUN LAWS.”
He followed it with a second note, “Well!!!!! I’m doing this as a individual because u shouldn’t be able to follow, chase, assume, and kill anyone. no matter what color they are.”
And late this week, R&B legend Chaka Khan announced that she too would be boycotting the Sunshine State.
The propensity for change
Beyond star alliances, black organizations have begun to call for boycotts against the tourist industry in Florida as a means of protesting the Zimmerman verdict and the Stand Your Ground law.
A petition launched in support of the efforts has garnered nearly 13,000 signatures as of Thursday, and millions have taken to social media to express their sentiment on the situation.
However, Florida is not the only state with such laws. Nearly half the states in the U.S. have some version of the directive, though the results of the Zimmerman verdict have prompted some to reconsider its merit.
Reports USA Today, Arizona state Sen. Steve Gallardo has asked lawmakers and leaders to review the law, as did U.S. Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz.
In Alabama, a Democratic lawmaker said Tuesday there would be an effort to repeal their version of the law.
Despite protests and political call-to-actions, experts believe the likelihood of change is small.
Daniel Webster, director of the Johns Hopkins Center for Gun Policy and Research, told CNN that “Overturning laws isn’t very common,” and “stand your ground laws have some popular appeal due to the the very general notion that citizens should be able to protect themselves and you shouldn’t have to, in essence, run from crime.”
Follow Courtney Garcia on Twitter at @CourtGarcia