John Boyega has thanked fans and colleagues for their love and support after he delivered an impassioned speech at a Black Lives Matter protest in London last week, and grappled with the very real possibility that he might not have a career after speaking out on racial injustice.

The Star Wars actor shared a number of pictures on Instagram from his visit to schools in London’s Southwark before the pandemic hit. Boyega had been meeting with young people to understand what it means to be part of the next generation. And while he was thankful for the outpouring of support over the past week, Boyega encouraged his supporters to not lose momentum.

“This is an intense time for our community, and the most important thing is for us to maintain momentum and not lose sight of how critical it is to pursue long term solutions and commitments, for the sake of our generation, and the next.

“Our individual pursuits of success and belonging remain, but now more than ever, it’s important to use this movement as fuel to inspire new ways of thinking, building, and growing, together.

“I believe any great movement starts with a renewal of the mind. I know you’re all thinking, what’s next? Where do we go from here? Because I’m thinking the same shit! Conversations about black businesses, ownership and support are happening, and I will continue to have these conversations with the full intention of birthing ideas that are sustainable and tangible.”

Boyega said he will continue to use his platform to fight against the injustices and inequalities in our community, no matter what. But, he can’t do it alone.

“I need you, and we need each other! We need everyone, across industries, socio-economic backgrounds, countries, to unite with a shared goal of REAL change.”

Of his experience visiting schools, Boyega said it was eye-opening and inspiring, and he intends to continue the work once it is safe to do so. “I urge the black men of our community, my peers, to do the same.”

“Connecting with our kids and motivating them towards a future that is stronger and brighter, is urgent, and necessary.”

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I want to thank you all for the love and support you have shared over the last few days, although nothing I have done is for praise, or is truly even enough, in the grand scheme of things. This is an intense time for our community, and the most important thing is for us to maintain momentum and not lose sight of how critical it is to pursue long term solutions and commitments, for the sake of our generation, and the next. Our individual pursuits of success and belonging remain, but now more than ever, it’s important to use this movement as fuel to inspire new ways of thinking, building, and growing, together. I believe any great movement starts with a renewal of the mind. I know you’re all thinking, what’s next? Where do we go from here? Because I’m thinking the same shit! Conversations about black businesses, ownership and support are happening, and I will continue to have these conversations with the full intention of birthing ideas that are sustainable and tangible. Let’s increase our knowledge! I’m excited to see an awakening happening in all of us! I’ll continue to use my platform to fight against the injustices and inequalities in our community, no matter what. Nonetheless, one man can’t do it alone – I need you, and we need each other! We need everyone, across industry’s, soci-economic backgrounds, countries, to unite with a shared goal of REAL change. Before the pandemic hit, I visited a few schools in Southwark, to share my journey and to truly understand the minds and needs of our next generation. It was eye opening and inspiring to say the least, and I look forward to continuing this work, and contributing more, once it is safe to do so. I urge the black men of our community, my peers, to do the same. Connecting with our kids and motivating them towards a future that is stronger and brighter, is urgent, and necessary. In the meantime, let’s work on clearing the runway for them, so they can take off, and fly. Love everyone, and stay safe x

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Last week, at London’s Hyde Park, an emotional Boyega told the crowd, “Black lives have always mattered.

“We have always been important. We have always meant something, we have always succeeded, regardless. And now is the time. I ain’t waiting.”

He continued, “I’m speaking to you from the heart. I don’t know if I’m going to have a career after this, but fuck that.”

Boyega’s words devastated many, not just at the protest, but on social media too. Within hours, Hollywood greats pledged to support him.

Image: Getty Images / Guy Smallman