Jay Z’s fledgling music streaming platform Tidal is donating $1.5 million to Black Lives Matter and several other local and national social justice organizations from money raised at an October concert, reports Mic.
The announcement was made on Friday, the same day Trayvon Martin would have turned 21 years old. The Trayvon Martin Foundation will receive a portion of the monies.
Tidal raised the funds at its Tidal X: 10/20 charity concert at Brooklyn, N.Y.’s Barclay Center. The live-streamed show featured Jay, Beyoncé, Nicki Minaj, Lil Wayne, Meek Mill, Usher, T.I. and Damian Marley, among others.
The October concert was billed as a fundraiser for the New World Foundation, which will distribute the funds.
The nonprofits that will share the bounty include national organizations such as Opportunity Agenda, and Sankofa.org, as well as local grassroots groups such as Hands Up United, in Ferguson, Mo.; Dream Defenders in Tallahassee, Fla.; the Black Youth Project 100 in Chicago; the Baltimore Justice Fund; the Ohio Students Association and Million Hoodies and the Justice League in New York City.
Donations will also be given to organizations created by the families of victims of police brutality, including the Trayvon Martin Foundation, the Michael O.D. Brown We Love Ours Sons and Daughters Foundation and the Oscar Grant Foundation.
On August 22, almost two weeks after Michael Brown was shot and killed by a police officer in Ferguson, Missouri, The Washington Post published an op-ed by Columbia University professor Fredrick Harris titled “Will Ferguson be a moment or a movement?”
I started working on my piece about the new era of black activism (which you can read here) months ago, and so I read Harris’s op-ed with the same level of irritation that made me want to write that piece in the first place. Not that there isn’t any value in what Harris wrote, because there certainly is. But if you’re asking the question “Where is the movement?” you simply haven’t been paying attention.
“A moment of trauma can oftentimes present you with an opportunity to do something about the situation to prevent that trauma from happening again,” Charlene Carruthers, national coordinator for Black Youth Project 100, told me in an interview for that piece, and the millennial generation has been presented with trauma after trauma. The killing of Sean Bell, the over-prosecution of the Jena Six, the killing of Oscar Grant, the killing of Aiyana Stanley-Jones, the killing of Trayvon Martin and so many more moments that may not have captured the national media attention but those events have defined the late adolescence and early adulthood of black folks of the millennial generation. As part of that demographic, let me say: the trauma has been fucking exhausting.
So, too, has been the haranguing from older generations that we have been too apathetic, that we have been too “post-racial,” that we have not done our part in upholding the legacy of the civil-rights movement. And so I wanted to write a corrective to that narrative, as I’ve seen my generation take up the fight and organize and begin along the hard road to movement building. It’s happening at this very moment. It was happening before Michael Brown was killed.
Harris writes: “What may keep Ferguson from becoming a national transformative event is if “justice” is narrowly confined to seeking relief for Brown and his family. If the focus is solely on the need for formal charges against Wilson, a fair trial, a conviction, a wrongful-death lawsuit—rather than seeing those things as part of a broader movement that tackles stand-your-ground laws, the militarization of local police, a requirement that cameras be worn by police on duty and the need for a comprehensive federal racial-profiling law. If justice remains solely personal, rather than universal.”