Shawn “Jay-Z” Carter is speaking out on behalf of black families grieving the loss of a loved one killed at the hands of the police.
The hip-hop billionaire and Team ROC, the philanthropic arm of his entertainment and sports management company Roc Nation, partnered with activists, attorneys, and the families who lost someone to police violence to dedicate a full-page ad in several newspapers Tuesday in honor of George Floyd. Floyd died last week after being detained and killed by Minneapolis police.
The ad featured an extended quote from a speech made by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. in Selma, Alabama, in 1965. It is captioned “in dedication to George Floyd. #JusticeForGeorgeFloyd.”
“A man dies when he refuses to stand up for that which is right,” it reads. “A man dies when he refuses to stand up for justice. A man dies when he refuses to take a stand for that which is true. So we’re going to stand up amid horses. We’re going to stand up right here, amid the billy-clubs. We’re going to stand up right here amid police dogs, if they have them. We’re going to stand up amid tear gas!”
The ad appeared in The New York Times, The Denver Post, The Chicago Tribune, The LA Times, The Philadelphia Inquirer, The Orlando Sentinel, and The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, among other papers.
In addition to Carter, signees of the ad include the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, the Reform Alliance, Angela Rye, Charlamagne Tha God, and Eboni K. Williams. The parents of Botham Jean, DJ Henry, and Antwon Rose II—three unarmed black men killed by police officers—also signed the letter.
According to a press release sent to BLACK ENTERPRISE, Team ROC plans to run another ad in Wednesday’s newspapers.
Last week, Carter called on Minneapolis Attorney General Keith Ellison to prosecute all of the officers involved in the killing of Floyd to the “fullest extent of the law,” reports Billboard. The rap superstar also spoke with Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz in pursuit of justice for Floyd.