Rapper Jay-Z yesterday (June 2) took out full-page ads in more than a dozen US newspapers to honour George Floyd, a black man who died at the hands of police last week.
The ads were ordered by Jay-Z and his Roc Nation label and included quoted a 1965 speech by civil rights leader Dr Martin Luther King Jr and relayed the need for people to stand up to oppression, even if it means possible death.
The quote used said, “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 that we are determined to be free!”
Jay-Z signed the ad, along with family members of black people killed by police, activists and others.
The advertisement reportedly was published in The New York Times, The Chicago Tribune, The Los Angeles Tomes, The Orlando Sentinel and others. It will also be re-run today, June 3.
- Related story: #BlackoutTuesday sends Internet into ‘dark mode’
Floyd died last week after succumbing to injuries related to incident where a white police officer was videotaped with his knee on Floyd’s neck for more than eight minutes.
The now-viral incident has spawned protests and demonstrations across the United States, prompting yesterday’s Blackout Tuesday where African Americans were encouraged to ‘disconnect from work and reconnect with their community’.