JAY-Z: 'Social justice is a collective fight'
The rapper has teamed up with Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein on two poignant civil rights documentaries about slain black teens.
Hip-hop mogul JAY-Z has acknowledged the power of community in an uplifting column about his fight for social justice.
The Dirt Off Your Shoulder hitmaker has been advocating for civil rights and he is convinced society can become more equal if more people contribute to the cause.
"The power of one voice is strong, but when it comes to social justice, the power of our collective voices is unstoppable," he wrote in a guest column for The Hollywood Reporter on Wednesday (21Jun17). "Now is the time to recognize that through our voices we really can effect change.
"Some of us will do the important work locally at the micro level to awaken our neighbors. Some of us will work for progress regionally. And a few of us will be like Kalief Browder, a modern-day prophet whose death two years ago started a discussion that continues today about how poor, black juveniles are treated in the criminal justice system."
Browder committed suicide in 2015, two years after his release from infamous New York prison Rikers Island, where he was imprisoned for three years in solitary confinement without trial. Kalief was just a teenager when he was first brought into the notoriously rough jail, and, before he took his own life, he spoke openly about the post-traumatic stress he suffered following his horrific experiences as a Rikers inmate.
JAY-Z teamed up with Hollywood heavyweight Harvey Weinstein to produce a docu-series about the tragic teen, called Time: The Kalief Browder Story, in an effort to transform America's prison system. He is also working with Weinstein on Rest in Power: The Trayvon Martin Story, a documentary about another black teen who was killed by a neighbourhood watch volunteer in Florida in 2012.
"My hope is for my next documentary, Rest in Power: The Trayvon Martin Story, to create a similar conversation that leads to change and helps keep our children safe," he shared, "But social justice isn't a political issue. It's a human issue. It's a story of empathy. When we are able to identify that we are all not perfect and have compassion for someone else, we can move forward as a society."
Beyonce's husband, real name Shawn Carter, ended his message with words of inspiration for fans, adding: "Look around at what's happening in your town and your city right now. Think small, and you can do much bigger things."
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