Justin Bieber addressed the controversy surrounding the use of Martin Luther King’s “But If Not” sermon which he gave at Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta, Georgia in November 1967.
The sermon opens his “Justice” album and Bieber explained to nearly 8,000 people on Clubhouse that he chose to use the 2-minute clip in an effort to grow and learn, “This is me doing a small part. My part. I want to continue the conversation of what justice looks like so we can continue to heal.” said Bieber.
When asked about how music can play a role in social advocacy Bieber says the MLK speech was included to “amplify the late civil rights leader’s incredibly, touching speech.”
Bieber says he has so much learning to do that he couldn’t talk about social justice but he wanted to highlight the importance of learning about it. MLK Jr’s daughter, Bernice King gave her stamp of approval on including the sermon on the album. She thanked Bieber for his support.