In a Wednesday, Aug. 3, interview with Vanity Fair, the entrepreneur, producer, and executive revealed that “saving the Black race” is what he recently discovered was part of his purpose after talking to God.
While seeking guidance, Combs decided to call up Harry Belafonte, a civil rights activist, Martin Luther King Jr.’s confidant, an actor, and a singer. Combs said what made him come to that decision was what he characterized as his similarity to Belafonte. “I was like, we were in similar situations. You know what I’m saying? Coming from where we were having a position of power, being celebrities, and I was wondering, how did [Belafonte] get so dug into [social action]? And really dedicating his life.”
Being the activist that he is, Belafonte called out celebrities, specifically Beyoncé and Jay-Z in a 2012 Hollywood Reporter interview for not doing enough in the Black community. He said, “They have not told the history of our people, nothing of who we are. We are still looking. We are not determinated.”
He called the situation “sad” and said, “ I think one of the great abuses of this modern time is that we should have had such high-profile artists, powerful celebrities. But they have turned their back on social responsibility. That goes for Jay-Z and Beyoncé, for example.” Jay-Z responded by saying that his “presence is charity,” meaning the person he’s made himself to be is enough, and said he believes the same about former President Barack Obama
The Brooklyn rapper said “Obama provides hope. Whether he does anything, the hope that he provides for a nation, and outside of America is enough.”
Combs later spoke about how he determined he was the right man for such a responsibility as saving an entire race. He thought, “The person that was able to go and do Bad Boy, if he’s in charge of bringing us together, it sounds like, ‘That’s the right motherf—er.’ ”
Since his revelation, Combs has attempted to start conversations and organizations to help reverse the oppression of Black people. In 2020 he started a new political party called Our Black Party to back and fight for the progression of the Black community in America. Earlier that same year, he partnered with Black-owned banks to help Black entrepreneurs get funding amid the pandemic.
He wrote a letter in April calling out America’s corporations that he said stand with Black corporations as performative action “while exploit[ing] our culture, undermin[ing] our power, and exclud[ing] Black entrepreneurs from participating in the value created by Black consumers.”