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Did Jay-Z fail Black consciousness by not mentioning Ahmaud Arbery?

Jay-Z (Photo credit: Bang Media)

Jay-Z and LL Cool J became the seventh and eighth hip-hop acts to ever be inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame on Oct. 30 in Cleveland.


After comedian Dave Chappelle introduced the mogul born Sean Carter, the Brooklyn, New York, native opened his speech by joking that the pre-induction tribute was trying to make him “cry in front of all these white people.” The 10-minute, 30-second address ended with him apologizing for a “long a– speech.” Even after the ceremony, the public gratitude continued with tweets about the various celebrities who appeared in his pre-induction video montage.

The iconic figure’s speech showed grace and class. He even thanked Roc-A-Fella co-founder Damon Dash, who’s currently suing him over “Reasonable Doubt” streaming rights.


Jay-Z’s speech featured all of the right things. Everything was right — with the glaring exception of paying homage to Ahmaud Arbery and his family.

Jury selection is underway in the trial of the men accused of killing Arbery in Brunswick, Georgia, in February 2020. The process to find 12 unbiased jurors and four alternates in a county of 85,292 people has now entered its third week.

Arbery was a 25-year-old Black man who went for a routine jog when father and son Travis and Gregory McMichael, and William “Roddie” Bryan allegedly chased him down and killed him. The three White defendants weren’t even arrested until over two months after Arbery’s death in April 2020. A video of the killing became public in May 2020, 10 days after the United States Department of Justice announced the arrests.

Once the video surfaced, multiple Black celebrities, headlined by NBA star LeBron James, spoke out about the situation in May 2020. That same month, Jay-Z signed a letter demanding justice for Arbery, according to Rolling Stone, and then sent a private jet to fly Arbery’s lawyers to Georgia the following month.

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