Shawn “Jay-Z” Carter and his agency Roc Nation have taken out multiple full-page ads in newspapers across the country highlighting Black businesses.
According to BET, dozens of Black businesses were highlighted by Carter in The New York Times, The Denver Post, The Chicago Tribune, The Los Angeles Times, The Philadelphia Inquirer, The Austin American Statement, The Orlando Sentinel, and The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
The ads promoted everything from eateries, beauty shops, clothing stores, and book shops to gyms, flower shops, waste collection, plumbing, auto shops, electricians, and print shops owned and run by Black men and women.“This ad has been created to bring attention to Black-owned businesses. Historically, Black people have been murdered for owning, thriving, and being successful. To that, we say never again,” the spread stated. “Power is in Black voices. Power is in Black actions. Power is in Black wallets. Roc Nation is committed to supporting Black entrepreneurs, their dreams and companies, We challenge everyone to do the same.”According to a nationwide study released in April, 45% of Black businesses are in danger of closing within six months due to the coronavirus.
Since the pandemic began in March, Carter and his team have been at the forefront of various philanthropic initiatives geared toward providing aid and support to various Black causes.The hip-hop billionaire has also donated millions to prison reform and coronavirus relief efforts. The recording artist also lent his support to the families of George Floyd and Ahmaud Arbery amid their fight for justice for their loved ones.In June, the rapper and Team ROC (the philanthropic arm of Roc Nation) took out full-page ads in the same papers quoting a speech made by Martin Luther King Jr. in Selma, Alabama, in 1965.The ad, which Team ROC posted on its Instagram page, included the signatures of Carter, the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, the Reform Alliance, Angela Rye, Charlamagne Tha God, and Eboni K. Williams along with parents of Botham Jean, DJ Henry, and Antwon Rose II—three unarmed Black men killed by police officers.