Between Jay-Z’s quiet contributions to Lil Wayne’s financial stability, his support of Colin Kaepernick, his label’s advocacy for Meek Mill and 21 Savage, and his formidable contributions to criminal justice reform, the rap legend has seemingly made it his mission to use his money, power, and fame to protect our cultural icons, by any means necessary. And in protecting those who continue to push the culture forward, he’s also extended his services to the young kinds and queens, who, too, are joining the fight for equality.
In fact, on Tuesday, Jay-Z’s Roc Nation announced it had appointed high-profile lawyer, Alex Spiro to Jabari Talbot’s case, the sixth grader who was arrested after he refused to stand for the pledge of allegiance in class.
“Jabari is a courageous and intelligent young man who deserves all the credit for standing up for his beliefs,” Spiro said in a statement. “He should’ve never been arrested or entangled in this situation – his freedom of speech rights were clearly protected under the 1st Amendment.”
In the incident, which occurred last month, Bay News 9 reported that Talbot refused to stand for the pledge over its offensive, racist history towards Black people. Talbot’s resistance led to a verbal confrontation with his teacher, who reportedly asked why he remained in this country with those views, to which he responded, “They brought me here.”
“Well you can always go back because I came here from Cuba, and the day I feel I’m not welcomed here anymore I would find another place to live,” Ana Alvarez reportedly responded.
Talbot was then arrested for being disruptive, and accused of threatening the substitute with physical violence. But, after news spread of the incident and drew the attention of Roc Nation’s social justice department, the case was dropped.