Shaun King to be honored at Rihanna’s Diamond Ball and some of Black Twitter is giving the side-eye

(Photo by Leon Bennett/Getty Images)| (Photo by Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images for BET)


Civil rights activist Shaun King is reportedly going to be honored at Rihanna’s fifth annual Diamond Ball this year and not everyone is pleased.

According to Variety, this week the singer announced that she would be honoring King and Barbados Prime Minister Mia Mottley at her annual star-studded gathering that benefits The Clara Lionel Foundation in New York.

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“I can’t imagine a better night than this year’s Clara Lionel Foundation event with Seth Meyers, Pharrell and DJ Khaled,” Rihanna said of the entertainment lined up for the evening. “I am particularly honored to present Prime Minister Mottley and Shaun King with this year’s Diamond Ball Awards for their groundbreaking work. We are so thankful to them for joining us and making the night better than ever.”

King is often seen as a polarizing figure even in the Black community. The Morehouse graduate founded or co-founded several activism oriented entities, including a social justice lobbyist organization called Real Justice PAC, which works to elect prosecutors of all levels who support criminal justice reform. He also relaunched the Frederick Douglass publication The North Star.

Even with that, for years critics have raised questions about the validity of his social justice work and money collection.

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His co-honoree is Prime Minister Mottley is known as a trailblazer in Rihanna’s homeland. During her 25-year career not only did she become the first woman elected to lead the Barbados Labour Party, Mottley went on to become the first female Attorney General and Deputy Prime Minister of Barbados.

She’s also been the driving force for many progressive programs such as the Education Sector Enhancement Program, an initiative that aims to, “increase the amount of young people contributing to the social and economic development of the country through school facility and technology rehabilitation along with teacher training and curriculum reform.”

The 5th Annual Diamond Ball will be held on Sept. 12 in NYC.