JAY-Z’s Team Roc — the philanthropic arm of JAY-Z’s Roc Nation — has printed full-page ads in several U.S. newspapers to show their support for the ongoing George Floyd protests. The open letter includes an excerpt from a speech that Martin Luther King Jr. gave in Selma, Alabama in 1965 during the historic marches from Selma to Montgomery.
“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 stand for that which is true,” the speech reads.
“So we’re going to stand up amid horses. We’re going to stand up right here, amid the belly-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 that we are determined to be free!”
The newspaper ad was signed by JAY-Z, Roc Nation, REFORM Alliance, Charlamagne Tha God, several social justice reform organizations, attorneys and families who have lost their loved ones to police brutality. These contributions included signatures from Angela Rye, Michael Eric Dyson, Antwon Rose’s mother Michelle Kenney, DJ Henry’s parents Danroy and Angella Henry, the Botham Jean Foundation, the Terrance Crutcher Foundation and more.
The open letter arrives after JAY-Z spoke with Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz by phone and released a statement about his commitment to seeking justice for the brutal and senseless police killing of Floyd.
“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,” Hov wrote in his statement, also calling for “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 ad was printed in The New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, the Minneapolis Star Tribune and other papers. Read it via Team Roc’s Instagram below.