Lorraine Toussaint launches ‘MothersandSons2020’ featuring Blair Underwood, Aldis Hodge

EXCLUSIVE: The veteran actress was motivated to create the project following the death of George Floyd

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Lorraine Toussaint has taken on tons of important roles throughout her illustrious career in Hollywood, but none as important as her real-life role as a mother to her 15-year-old daughter.

When the COVID-19 crisis hit, immediately compounded by the killing of George Floyd, she found herself in a similar position as so many parents—desperate to protect her child and to do something.

The actress decided that “something” would be MothersandSons2020, a project that highlights just how important Black lives are and how crucial it is to utilize our power to vote.

Read More: Lorraine Toussaint joins Queen Latifah in ‘The Equalizer’ pilot at CBS

The project features several sets of mothers and their famous sons, including Blair Underwood and his mother, Marilyn; Edwin and Aldis Hodge and their mother, Yolette; and Jovan Adepo and his mother, Lola, among others. Their commentary is interwoven with historical footage of the abuse hurled at Black Americans, resulting in a truly powerful piece.

theGrio caught up with Toussaint to learn more about the message behind the star-studded video and how she’s using art as activism.

AMC Summit
Lorraine Touissant attends the AMC Summit at Public Hotel on June 20, 2018 in New York City. (Photo by Jamie McCarthy/Getty Images for AMC)

“At the beginning of the outbreak it was just such a scary time. There was so much we didn’t know,” she explains. “In the midst of that, the George Floyd case unfolded and started looming extremely large in ways that were and continue to be very disturbing to me as a Black woman. As a mother, and all of the frustration that I felt and still feel centered around, ‘What can I do?’ While the world was protesting and a lot of violence was breaking out, I didn’t necessarily feel safe taking my daughter into the middle of that, but I wanted us to be proactive in some way.”

“I felt that frustration primarily as a mother and I know how much my daughter’s life matters. My heart would break every time for the mothers of these victims.” 

Read More: Aldis Hodge on his heartbreaking role in ‘Clemency’: ‘This is something of value’

Toussaint enlisted the help of her manager and reached out to some of her famous friends, and together they decided that featuring grown men would be the best route. 

“Most of the world think that celebrity Black men and women, including myself, are exempt from profiling and violence at the hands of police. Every Black actor that I know has had an encounter and a violent encounter at that. If not physically violent, certainly psychologically and emotionally violating,” she continues. 

“The dominant culture doesn’t necessarily recognize themselves in us. We are saying that we are human beings, that our children matter to us as much as your children matter to you. I do believe in my soul that every single Black life matters and so I’m there with that intention at the core of this piece. I hope it drives home the point that we must take back the power. One of the ways we do that is by going out to the polls in numbers that cannot be denied.”

Check out MothersandSons2020 below:

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