In the past, Jay Z and Beyoncé have come under fire for not doing enough to help struggling black communities, despite their huge wealth and the far-reaching influence afforded by their mega-fame. Recently, however, it seems the power couple have become more overtly political within the public sphere, using their finance and power to support black rights and help fight social injustice.
On Friday – the same day Trayvon Martin would have turned 21-years-old – it was announced that Jay Z’s global music and entertainment platform Tidal (which is also co-owned by Beyoncé) would be donating $1.5 million to the Black Lives Matter movement, as well as several other civil rights organizations (including Opportunity Agenda, Hands Up United, the Trayvon Martin Foundation and Sankofa.Org amongst others). The streaming service raised these funds at last year’s Tidal X: 10/20 charity concert in New York, which featured performances from Beyoncé,Nicki Minaj, Jay Z and Lil Wayne.
“The process of acquiring recommendations (for nonprofits) was collaborative and inspired by the message that speaks to racial and social inequities and injustice in our society,” Dania Diaz, managing director of philanthropy at Roc Nation, told Mic. “Each year we will support a different initiative. Our ideology is to have a hifi level of consciousness in everything we do.”
This isn’t the first time the Carters have extended their considerable wealth towards helping the black community. Last year, the couple wired “tens of thousands” in order to bail out Baltimore protestors following the death of 25-year-old African American Freddie Grey.
The news also comes following Beyoncé’s latest video “Formation” (below), itself a powerful anddefiant celebration of black identity during a time of increasing racial tension.