There was collective sadness and outrage when video circulated of Alton Sterling being killed by police in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. The grief was heightened when news spread that Sterling was a father of five. His oldest son, 15-year-old Cameron Sterling, broke down in tears during a Wednesday (July 6) press conference as his mother, Quinyetta McMillan, called for justice.
Many artists verbalized their empathy on social media, but writer-producer Issa Rae went a step further, starting a GoFundMe scholarship fund Wednesday for Sterling's children. In just nine hours, the $200,000 goal was met. As of today, the total for the #AltonSterlingFamily Scholarship stands at nearly $297,000.
Rae, whose new HBO series Insecure screened at Essence Fest last weekend, has been our girl since we fell in love with her web series, The Misadventures of Awkward Black Girl. Rae promised that all of the funds raised will go toward sending Sterling's children to college.
Sterling, a 37-year-old black man who was apprehended and shot six times while selling CDs in front of a convenience store, became the 558th person to be killed this year by law enforcement in America. As the death toll rises, many people on social media expressed feelings of helplessness. Rae's efforts are one way to respond to the tragedy with action.