- The Washington Times - Monday, August 25, 2014

A moment of silence was held during the MTV Video Music Awards Sunday night in memory of 18-year-old Michael Brown and the chaos that followed his death in Ferguson, Missouri.

Rapper-actor Common held a moment of silence for Brown, the unarmed black teen who was fatally shot by a white police officer on Aug. 9, before announcing Drake as the winner for best hip-hop video.

“Hip-hop has always been about truth and has been a powerful instrument of social change, from Melle Mel to Public Enemy to Kendrick Lamar,” Common said, the Associated Press reported. “Hip-hop has always been presented a voice for the revolution.”

“I want us all to take a moment of silence for Michael Brown and for peace in this country and in the world,” he said.

Later into the ceremony, a 15-second public service announcement aired alluding to the shooting in Ferguson and urging viewers to take action to eliminate racial bias.

“Not everything that is faced can be changed; but nothing can be changed until it is faced,” a quote by author James Baldwin read on the screen, the AP reported.

MTV President Stephen Friedman said in a statement before the ceremony that he hoped the PSA would spur further discussions about race.

“It’s a call to action to our audience that we have to confront our own bias head-on before we can truly create change,” he said, The Independent reported.

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