Following her live performance at the March for Our Lives Rally in Washington D.C. on Saturday, Jennifer Hudson sat down with CNN personality Van Jones to discuss her feelings on gun violence and gun control in the United States.
"For people who are watching what's happening, know that it can be anybody," Hudson said. "It can happen to anybody."
"For people who are watching ... know that it can be anybody ... to me, the saddest thing is, no one ever reacts until it happens to them," says singer Jennifer Hudson, who lost her mother, brother and nephew to gun violence #VanJonesShow https://t.co/5J7py0Gk7G pic.twitter.com/fBKr3xUMhp— CNN (@CNN) March 24, 2018
It personally happened to the Oscar and Grammy award winner back in 2008 when her 57-year-old mother Darnell Donnerson and 29-year-old brother Jason were shot and killed by Hudson's sister Julia's estranged husband, William Balfour. On top of that, Hudson's 7-year-old nephew Julian's body was found three days after the shooting in Chicago's West Side with multiple gunshot wounds. Balfour was charged with first-degree murder for shooting the three family members and handed three life sentences in prison.
"A day like this is almost like reliving it over and over again," Hudson said. "So it's obviously something that's extremely close to home for that reason, because you instantly connect. There's very few people who know what a moment like this means, what it represents, everything it entails."
Hudson expressed her frustration over a lack of change in gun laws after mass shootings.
What is it gonna be next week? Next month?" Hudson asked "Or when these children who are out here marching right now, when is it their children?"
Alongside survivors from the Parkland Shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, Hudson sang a rendition of Bob Dylan's classic "The Times, They Are A'Changin" in front of a crowd that reached hundreds of thousands of people in size.
Jennifer Hudson, who lost her mother, brother and nephew to gun violence, opened the doors of the church today ... and there were many who came through them pic.twitter.com/paGJZyehwc— Jemele Hill (@jemelehill) March 24, 2018
"We all came for change today, right?" Hudson asked the massive crowd in attendance. "We've all lost somebody. And I'm sure, a long time ago, you never thought you would be standing here today. But we're all here for a reason. We've all got a story, we've all got a purpose. And we all want what? We want change."0comments
Hudson's speech came moments after Parkland graduate Emma Gonzalez stood for six minutes and 20 seconds in silence onstage, representing the length of time Nikolas Cruz ran through the high school on Feb. 14 wielding an AR-15 semi-automatic rifle, killing 14 students and three teachers.
Other celebrities who appeared at the rally included Kim Kardashian, Kanye West, Paul McCartney, the cast of Parks and Recreation, Miley Cyrus, George and Amal Clooney, Jimmy Fallon, Steven Speilberg, Ariana Grande, Demi Lovato, Kevin Bacon and Lin-Manuel Miranda.