Jay-Z has made his voice heard during the aftermath of George Floyd’s death, going as far as to speak directly with Minnesota’s governor. Now he has shared a public statement, doing so by taking out full-page newspaper ads in publications across the US.
Instead of using his own words, he used those of Martin Luther King, Jr: The ad features a passage from a speech King gave in Selma, Alabama in March 1965. It reads in part:
“Only way we can really achieve freedom is to somehow hunker the fear of death. But if a man has no discovered something that he will die for, he isn’t fit to live. Deep down in our nonviolent creed is the conviction — there there are some things so dead, some things so precious, some things so eternally true, that they’re worth dying for. […] 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.”
Aside from Jay and Roc Nation, others who put their name on the including Charlamagne Tha God, Van Jones, activists, and parents of other young black men who died in altercations with law enforcement.
The ad was run in the Tuesday, June 2 editions of publications including The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times, The Denver Post, The Chicago Tribune, The Philadelphia Inquirer, The Austin American Statement, The Orlando Sentinel, and The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, among others. CNN notes that more ads are expected to be published in today’s papers.
Find the full ad below.