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D'Angelo's Band Wore "Black Lives Matter" Shirts On Saturday Night Live

Band members also wore shirts displaying the words "I can't breathe." The phrases reference the deaths of black men including Michael Brown and Eric Garner.

Last updated on February 1, 2015, at 1:36 a.m. ET

Posted on February 1, 2015, at 1:36 a.m. ET

R&B singer D'Angelo played SNL Saturday, and during the performance members of his band wore shirts displaying the phrases "black lives matter" and "I can't breathe."

NBC

The musicians wore the shirts during "The Charade," the second song they played on the show.

NBC
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The song comes from D'Angelo's latest album, Black Messiah, and speaks of "degradation so loud that you can't hear the sound of our cries." The chorus begins, "all we wanted was a chance to talk/'Stead we only got outlined in chalk."

The performance ended with the musicians, including D'Angelo, standing with their heads bowed and their fists raised.

NBC

The performance also included a representation of a chalk outline on the ground.

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NBC

"I can't breathe" references the death of Eric Garner, who died after an NYPD officer put him in a choke hold. "Black lives matter" is a phrase that was used during protests that followed the deaths of Michael Brown and others.

During and after the performance, many people began using the #BlackLivesMatter hashtag.

D'Angelo was unapologetically showing us how deep his love for Africa was tonight. Brilliant! #DAngelo #BlackLivesMatter #ICantBreathe #SNL

Brandon Ousley@brandonousleyFollow

D'Angelo was unapologetically showing us how deep his love for Africa was tonight. Brilliant! #DAngelo #BlackLivesMatter #ICantBreathe #SNL

10:26 PM - 31 Jan 15ReplyRetweetFavorite

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#SNL is boring but this here gave me #life #blackmessiah #blacklivesmatter #icantbreathe the best… http://t.co/ZrnP4ccvUF

Robin Caldwell@biglifefreelifeFollow

#SNL is boring but this here gave me #life #blackmessiah #blacklivesmatter #icantbreathe the best… http://t.co/ZrnP4ccvUF

10:43 PM - 31 Jan 15ReplyRetweetFavorite

D'Angelo's performance on SNL was historic. Was a fan in the 90's and am now a devotee and supporter. @nbcsnl @TheDangelo #BlackLivesMatter

Monique Villa@MoniqueVillaFollow

D'Angelo's performance on SNL was historic. Was a fan in the 90's and am now a devotee and supporter. @nbcsnl @TheDangelo #BlackLivesMatter

10:42 PM - 31 Jan 15ReplyRetweetFavorite

@TheDangelo Thank you for reminding the country that #BlackLivesMatter. They thought we went away, but we are still fighting.

GoBrooklyn@GoBrooklynFollow

@TheDangelo Thank you for reminding the country that #BlackLivesMatter. They thought we went away, but we are still fighting.

10:41 PM - 31 Jan 15ReplyRetweetFavorite

Some also pointed out that D'Angelo's hoodie was meant to reference Trayvon Martin.

@JimDalrympleII Plus the hoodie he wore was representative of Trayvon Martin.

Me@DiamondLilacFollow

@JimDalrympleII Plus the hoodie he wore was representative of Trayvon Martin.

10:42 PM - 31 Jan 15ReplyRetweetFavorite

Watch video of the performance here:

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