While US institutions grapple with their long-standing monuments to slave owners, the singer shared a video from the American Civil Liberties Union to his Instagram on Monday (6 July) in support of their removal.
“A lot of you know I’m from Tennessee… a state that happens to be the home of many many confederate monuments,” Timberlake wrote, revealing that he’d been “listening closely to the ongoing debates”.
He continued: “When we protest racism in America, people think we are protesting America itself. Why is that the reaction? Because America was built by men who believed in and benefited from racism. Plain and simple.
“This is when you hear, ‘But that’s all in the past.’ So let’s be clear... those men who proudly owned and abused Black people are STILL celebrated all over the country... No one should be protecting the legacies of confederate leaders and slave owners.
Timberlake added: “If we plan to move forward, these monuments must come down. But let’s remember: Removing these statues does not erase our country’s vile history of oppression – removing them is a symbol of respect for Black people in America and it’s a step towards progress and actual equality for all.”
A number of statues celebrating former slave owners – in the US and the UK – have been toppled or vandalised during rallies.