You Probably Won’t See Beyoncé and Jay-Z Marching in the Streets But They Are Still Activists
Within days of George Floyd’s killing on May 25, celebrities such as Jay-Z and Beyoncé publicly condemned and grieved the tragedy along with many of us. As protesters rallied together to march in cities across the country—and world—some fans wondered what their favorite stars would say or do.
Beyoncé released a video decrying police brutality and demanding change, and Jay-Z contacted Minnesota government officials directly to push them to take action.
It shouldn’t be a shock that they spoke out, but some fans have been critical of the pair and are comparing them to celebs who protested in the street. Here’s why it is unlikely you’ll see either of them on foot.
Jay-Z and Beyoncé often work behind the scenes
These two have a track record of staying under the radar with some of their community work. While Beyoncé’s known for expressing her love for Black womanhood and culture through her music and visuals, behind the scenes, she and Jay-Z contribute time and money to various causes.
Though it wasn’t confirmed until recently, they’ve been quietly bailing out Black Lives Matter protesters for years. They did it in 2015 when people were locked up in Baltimore and Ferguson, and they also donated to the movement when it was growing chapters all over the country.
Beyoncé has made political statements by welcoming the mothers of Oscar Grant, Trayvon Martin, Michael Brown, and Eric Garner to award shows, and featuring some of them in her videos as a way to give them visibility.
And let’s not forget about Formation and the imagery she used to demonstrate pride and empowerment.
The couple backs film projects that shed light on injustice
Back in 2013, Jay-Z was one of the collaborators who brought an Angela Davis documentary to the small screen. He, Will Smith, and Jada Pinkett Smith joined forces to executive produce the civil rights activist’s story for BET.
Additionally, Jay-Z also worked on the Kalief Browder documentary and spent time with Browder in person before he tragically died by suicide.
His case was one of the reasons that Jay-Z involves himself in prison reform, using his platform and funds to change the criminal justice system and the racial disparities in it.
Rolling Stone reported that during the film’s premiere and panel discussion in 2017, he said of Browder, “His death is here to teach us to save a generation of kids. I say this about the movie. It’s hard to watch, but important to see.”
Beyoncé and Jay-Z are activists, but marching…
The Carters aren’t fazed by those critical of how they participate in social justice movements, but there are some fans who are disappointed in them not being on the ground like Kendrick Lamar, Ariana Grande, or Kehlani.
It would appear that it would create a major security issue if either or both of them decided to hit the pavement as demonstrators. Some celebrities have purposely tried to remain anonymous while marching so attention is not taken away from the cause. Others are filming themselves.
Because Jay-Z and Beyoncé are notoriously private, it is highly likely they will continue to take action in the same manner they’ve been doing.
Fans can check out Beyoncé’s BeyGood foundation to learn about her latest efforts for COVID-19 and justice for George Floyd and Breonna Taylor. Both are doing something.