Entertainment

For Father’s Day, Jay-Z will be giving the gift of freedom to incarcerated fathers

Jay-Z, also known as Shawn Carter, left and Mayor Eric Garcetti clasp hands as they announce the Made in America Festival from the steps of City Hall on April 16, 2014 in Los Angeles.
Jay-Z, also known as Shawn Carter, left and Mayor Eric Garcetti clasp hands as they announce the Made in America Festival from the steps of City Hall on April 16, 2014 in Los Angeles. Associated Press File

Jay-Z is one of the most recognizable names in hip-hop. His sports agency, Roc Nation, represents some of the best athletes in the country. He’s a cultural icon.

He’s also a philanthropist. And this Father’s Day, Jay-Z will do another act of philanthropy.

Shawn Carter, Jay-Z’s real name, made a donation to support Southerners on New Ground and Color of Change in order to help bail out fathers who cannot afford it, according to an op-ed he wrote on Time published on Friday.

The two organizations conducted a similar fundraiser for Mother’s day, raising more than $700,000 to bail out 100 mothers, according to the fundraiser’s website.

“As a father with a growing family, it's the least I can do, but philanthropy is not a long fix, we have to get rid of these inhumane practices altogether,” Carter wrote. “We can't fix our broken criminal justice system until we take on the exploitative bail industry.”

In the piece on Time, Carter wrote that he became “obsessed with the injustice of the profitable bail bond industry” after working on Time’s latest docuseries, Time: The Kalief Browder Story.

The docuseries tells the story of Browder, a man who was wrongfully accused of stealing a backpack. He spent three years in solitary confinement on Rikers Island and eventually committed suicide.

“He was sentenced to a kind of purgatory before he ever went to trial,” Carter wrote. “The three years he spent in solitary confinement on Rikers ultimately created irreversible damage that lead to his death at 22.”

This isn’t the first time that Carter has done something like this. In 2008, when three New York police officers were acquitted in the shooting of unarmed Sean Bell, Carter established a trust fund for his two children, which would be enough to pay for college if they chose to go, according to the New York Times.

Carter and his mother Gloria also started the Shawn Carter Foundation, which has provided more than $4 million in scholarships and other development programs to “empower youth and communities,” according to its website.

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