Thursday, March 4, 2021

JAY-Z Runs Full-Page Newspaper Ads Dedicated to George Floyd

jay-z (sitting in chair - mic) - Getty
Jay-Z (Getty)

*JAY-Z addressed Floyd’s murder in a statement released Sunday night, in which he urged Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison to “do the right thing and prosecute all those responsible for the murder of George Floyd to fullest extent of the law.”

“After our very earnest conversation, thank you to Governor Walz for doing what’s right and calling in Attorney General Keith Ellison to take over the George Floyd case,” he said. “Earlier today, Governor Walz mentioned having a human conversation with me – a dad and a black man in pain. YES, I am human, a father and a black man in pain and I am not the only one. Now I, along with an entire country in pain, call upon AG Ellison to do the right thing and prosecute all those responsible for the murder of George Floyd to the fullest extent of the law,” the rapper said.

Now Jigga and his Roc Nation family have taken out multiple full-page ads in newspapers across the country in honor of Floyd, who was murdered by Minneapolis police during an arrest over suspected forgery on Memorial Day. 

Floyd’s death has sparked protests around the world; from LA to Chicago and New York, Paris and London. 

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View this post on Instagram

 

In dedication to George Floyd. #BlackLivesMatter #JusticeforGeorgeFloyd

A post shared by Team Roc (@teamroc) on

Jay’s ad features a passage from Dr. Martin Luther King Jr’s 1965 address in Selma, Alabama.

“Only way we can really achieve freedom is to somehow hunker the fear of death. But if a man has not discovered something that he will die for, he isn’t fit to live,” the ad reads. “Deep down in our nonviolent creed is the conviction — that there are some things so dear, so things so precious, so things so eternally true, that they are worth dying for.”

“A man dies when he refuses to stand up for that which is right,” it continues. “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!”

“In dedication to George Floyd,” Roc Nation captioned the note on social media, alongside the hashtags “#BlackLivesMatter” and “#JusticeforGeorgeFloyd.”

Check out the ad via the IG post above.

As noted by PEOPLE, the ad was signed by Floyd’s attorneys and the parents of Botham Jean, DJ Henry and Antwon Rose II — three Black men who were killed by police.

The letter was printed in the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, the Chicago Tribune and the Philadelphia Enquirer on Tuesday, according to CNN, and more are expected to run in Wednesday’s edition. 

The ad comes days after JAY-Z spoke about Floyd’s death with Minnesota Governor Tim Walz.

“This is just a first step. I am more determined to fight for justice than any fight my would-be oppressors may have. I prevail on every politician, prosecutor and office in the country to have the courage to do what is right. Have the courage to look at us as humans, dads, brothers, sisters and mothers in pain and look at yourselves,” Jay said.

Walz shared details of the conversation in an interview with WCCO.

“I received a call [Saturday] night — to understand how big this was — from JAY-Z,” Walz said. “Not international performer, but dad stressing to me that justice needs to be served. It was so incredibly human. … It was a dad, and I think quite honestly a black man whose visceral pain of this that he knew. His words summarized that justice needs to be served here.”

“He said he feels the compassion and the humanity of these folks who are speaking,” he continued. “He knows the world is watching, and how Minnesota handles this is going to have an impact across the country. It’s a positive sign that someone of a stature, that has a presence like that, is focused in the moment of what Minnesotans are focused on.”

Ny MaGee
Ny MaGee is a screenwriter and freelance reporter from Chicago -- currently living in Los Angeles and covering A-list entertainment for various outlets, including Emmys.com. She has worked for: Miramax, MTV & VH1, The Jim Henson Company, Hallmark Channel, Paramount Pictures, and for iconic indie film producer Roger Corman.

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