Ex Supreme Singer Mary Wilson On Police Violence: ‘Blacks Knew Our Place’

Posted On : July 11, 2016

mary wilson

Former Supremes singer, Mary Wilson, compared the differences between Blacks in the 60s and 70s vs. the current Black Lives Matter movement that’s aimed at stopping police from using Black people as target practice and killing them at will. Wilson explained to TMZ, that in the Motown era, African Americans were mostly conditioned to fear fighting for 100% equal rights, so unlike today, they only went so far:

“Back in the Motown days, we were not even citizens. It doesn’t even compare…except we didn’t have the violence. You know why? It was because we as Black people ‘knew our place.’ So it wasn’t until Martin Luther King, the civil rights movement and all that stuff…that things started changing and we started standing up for the rights. So it was a different platform. […] I think it gets bad before it gets better, and that may be where we are right now,”said Wilson.


Wilson’s right, times have changed. Back then, people took one of two sides- the peaceful, nonviolent approach of Dr. Martin Luther King; or the demanding, eye-for-an-eye approach of Malcolm X. Both were fighting for the same cause of equal rights for African Americans, but at that time, many feared that Malcolm’s approach was too direct, so they leaned more towards King’s instead.

Today, as millions protest the countless slaughterings of Black people at the hands of some police officers, it seems the two approaches have merged into one- King’s protest marches have fused with Malcolm’s action. Now, instead of African Americans “staying in our places,” many are fed up and are now demanding equal respect, not asking. Just like Mary Wilson said, we’re probably living in a time where in order to get change, things are going to probably get bad, before they get better.

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