What Being Black In America Feels Like For Jay-Z, Kendrick Lamar, Mahershala Ali And Others

By Taryn Finley, huffingtonpost.com


Jay-Z didn’t hold back when it came to letting the world know what it’s like to be a black man in America on his already platinum album “4:44,” which dropped on Friday.

He incorporated other black voices on Monday when he released a footnotes video for his song “The Story of O.J.” Jay-Z, along with Van Jones, Kendrick Lamar, Michael B. Jordan, Will Smith, Mahershala Ali and others, got candid in their individual interviews about the routine racism they’ve faced throughout the years….

Ali explained that black men move throughout the world constantly on the defensive mode in order to survive.

“We don’t have the capacity to play offense,” the actor said. “Like we can’t move cause we are constantly looking for the moment when you’re going to be disrupted so you walk through the world very aware that the world views you a certain way. So you gotta play defense and you gotta play it real smooth.”…

“Success is still in many ways a synonym for white,” Trevor Noah said. “And so once you’ve attached successful to the black man, there’s a little key that’s been given to you that may give you access to the white world. The key can be taken away… but at least you have a key for the time being.”

In his song “The Story of O.J.,” Hov calls out black people who become rich and famous and separate themselves from the culture. Noting when O.J. Simpson said “I’m not black, I’m O.J.,” Jay-Z urged black influencers to go beyond that and pave the way for the next generation of black leaders….

It’s gonna take for the way-showers to do it and not get to that point and not turn into ’I ain’t black, I’m O.J.”

Watch a preview of “Footnotes for ‘The Story of O.J.’” above and watch the full video on Tidal.

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Jay Z and Harvey Weinstein to Bring Trayvon Martin’s Story to Film and TV

From: Colorlines

Written By: Sameer Rao

In the article “Jay Z and Harvey Weinstein to Bring Trayvon Martin’s Story to Film and TV,” culture reporter/blogger Sameer Rao highlights Jay Z Carter’s collaboration with producer Harvey Weinstein to create a narrative film and docuseries on the 2012 murder that lit the fuse of the Black Lives Matter movement.

Rao explains:

“…Jay Z and The Weinstein Company won a bidding war for the rights to two books about Martin: Rest in Power: The Enduring Life of Trayvon Martin and Suspicion Nation: The Inside Story of the Trayvon Martin Injustice and Why We Continue to Repeat It.”

L to R: Jay Z, Harvey Weinstein and Trayvon Martin. Jamie McCarthy/Getty Images; Colorlines Screenshot from Facebook

He continues:

“…the books will be adapted into a six-part documentary series produced by Jay Z. The Weinstein Company will co-develop the narrative feature film. These still-untitled projects are part of Jay Z’s two-year production deal with The Weinstein Company.”

Read about how another tragedy inspired Dr. James Cameron’s memoir here.

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