This past Tuesday Jay-Z, the hip-hop mogul and his record company, Roc Nation, sponsored full-page ads in newspapers across the country to honor George Floyd, who was murdered last week at the hands of police enforcement.
The ad was shared via Roc Nation’s social media pages and quotes a portion of Martin Luther King Jr.’s 1965 speech from Selma, Alabama.
"The only way we can really achieve freedom is to somehow conquer the fear of death. But if a man has not discovered something that he will die for, he isn’t fit to live," began the ad. "Deep down in our nonviolent creed is the conviction — that there are some things so dear, some things so precious, some things so eternally true, that they’re worth dying for."
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It continued, "A man dies when he refuses to stand up for that which is right. 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!
“We’re going to stand up amid anything they can muster up, letting the world know we are determined to be free!"
The ad was signed by Jay-Z along with several leaders from advocacy organizations such as the Women’s Global Initiative, Until Freedom, and the Innocence Project, as well as the parents of Botham Jean, DJ Henry, and Antwon Rose II—three Black men previously killed by police officials.
The ad was printed in papers including The New York Times, Chicago Tribune, Los Angeles Times, and The Philadelphia Inquirer, with more ads to come.
Quote of the day: "What we’ve been doing is obviously not working and so we need to do something different. If it’s radical, then it’s radical. And I want to be a part of that."
–Anthony Lynn, Los Angeles Chargers Head Coach
Look with compassion, O God,
upon the people in this land
who live with injustice, terror, disease, and death
as their constant companions.
Have mercy upon us.
Help us to eliminate cruelty to these our neighbor
Strengthen those who spend their lives
establish equal protect of the law
and equal opportunities for all..
And grant that everyone of us may enjoy
a fair portion of the abundance of this land;
through you Son, Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.