Actor Gbenga Akinnagbe, best known for his role in the hit series, “The Wire” has decided to use his celebrity as a platform to promote what he is passionate about: social change. The movement (and apparel line) Liberated People came about through Akinnagbe’s unwavering social conscience.
Although he spent most of his adolescence in group homes, Akinnagbe managed to not only graduate from high school, but also earn a scholarship, through wrestling, to attend Bucknell University.
Akinnagbe took his life experiences and the urgency for political change and created a movement.
“One of the most important things that human beings have is their freedom; that is why liberation and the fight for it, is important. Welcome to Liberated People, a movement of the people for the people,” he says.
Rolling out sat down with Akinnagbe to discuss the motivation for his creation of Liberated People and what impact he hopes to have on social change on a global level.
What motivated you to start the Liberated People movement ?
I travel a lot and get involved in various civil rights movements. I wanted to create something that was emblematic of the struggle, something that represented the people’s fight. I wanted to create a brand with a feel … something to get people motivated.
What made you choose apparel as a means of getting your message out ?
The bodies on the ground making the change. If people are wearing the shirts, they are making a statement of a common goal. People will see that and be motivated to spark their own change.
Do you work with any nonprofits or community organizations ?
Currently we work with “Beat the Streets” in Baltimore. A portion of the T-shirts’ sales go to the organization. We prefer to work with organizations from the community.
How do you think your celebrity has impacted the movement ?
Celebrity provides me with a platform and allows me to reach more people. I want to tap into the huge current that is surging for social change. This movement is bigger than me and my day job. I do it for the unsatisfied and demobilized citizens. I want Liberated People to be an energizing positive force.
What are your hopes for the brand ?
I want it to become a symbol of global citizenship. Most importantly, I want people to go out and do the service, taking control of their communities.
For more information on Liberated People, the movement and the apparel, visit