Make sure you vote, say black stars

Published: Wednesday 15th April 2015 by The News Editor

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Black British stars appear with white faces in a hard-hitting new campaign to encourage minorities to register to vote ahead of the general election.

Homeland actor David Harewood, musician Tinie Tempah, ex-footballer Sol Campbell and Paralympic medallist and television presenter Ade Adepitan were photographed for Operation Black Vote.

The campaign features four posters with photos taken by leading photographer Rankin and an online 60-second advert starring Harewood, made by ad agency Saatchi and Saatchi.

Harewood, 49, who played CIA chief David Estes in the American spy drama Homeland, helped launch the campaign in London today, saying voting was the only way to change institutions such as Westminster and make them more representative of a multicultural Britain.

He said: “What it brilliantly illustrates is that if you don’t register to vote, you are quite literally taking all the vibrancy we have in our community off the table.

“If you don’t register to vote, politicians don’t really care about you, politicians aren’t really caring about what you have to say, what you have to do, anything.

“The only way they talk to you is if you register to vote. That is when you become an important part of the electorate.”

He said he had been inspired by seeing the queues of black people voting in the first free elections in post-apartheid South Africa and for President Barack Obama in the US.

He added: “The only way, as a part of the populace, we are going to change these often very foreign institutions – whether it be police force, Westminster, business – the only way we are going to effect any change is if we register to vote and vote for it.

“We become part of the process and we give ourselves a voice. It is simply no good to sit on the sidelines and say it has nothing to do with me, because politics has to do with all of us and the only way all of us are going to benefit from politics is if we are all registered to vote.”

Published: Wednesday 15th April 2015 by The News Editor

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