Culture

Beyoncé and Jay Z Donate $1.5 Million to the Black Lives Matter Movement

by Tasbeeh Herwees

February 8, 2016
Beyoncé sinks a police car in her new video for “Formation.”

Last year, rumors surfaced that Beyoncé and Jay Z had been secretly providing Black Lives Matter protesters with bail money and writing checks to help grow the movement. This past weekend, as the fourth anniversary of Trayvon Martin’s death approaches, their music streaming company, Tidal, announced that it was giving away $1.5 million in grant money to Black Lives Matter and other civil rights groups, including Hands Up United and Dream Defenders. The organization, in association with Jay Z’s entertainment company Roc Nation, raised the money at a sold-out charity concert in Brooklyn in October, where the lineup included Beyoncé, Nicki Minaj, and Alessia Cara.

Dania Diaz, managing director of philanthropy at Roc Nation, broke the news to Mic.

“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,” Diaz said. “Each year we will support a different initiative. Our ideology is to have a hifi level of consciousness in everything we do.”

Other organizations that will be receiving funds include the Trayvon Martin Foundation, Michael O.D. Brown We Love Ours Sons and Daughters Foundation, and the Oscar Grant Foundation. The money will be disbursed through the New World Foundation.

This move from the Carters comes as no surprise. Last year, Tidal released “Chains,” a Black Lives Matter anthem that played over a video showcasing the faces of victims of police violence. This past weekend, Beyoncé made a Super Bowl halftime appearance to perform her politically charged song “Formation”—the video for which depicts her sinking a police car in the water in New Orleans. Her backup dancers joined her on the field wearing outfits that paid homage to the Black Panther Party.

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Beyoncé and Jay Z Donate $1.5 Million to the Black Lives Matter Movement