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  • Writer's pictureJamal Saafir

No Book Bans on Hov’s Watch

According to a report from TMZ, Hip-Hop mogul and entrepreneur Jay-Z (Shawn Carter), alongside Robert Kraft, owner of the New England Patriots and CEO of holding company Kraft Group, have teamed up to take on the attack on information.

This attack on information has been taking place in the form of book bans throughout the United States. According to PEN America, between the dates of July 1st, 2021 and June 30th, 2022 book bans occurred in 138 school districts in 32 states. These districts represent 5,049 schools with a combined enrollment of nearly 4 million students.

As reported by TMZ Hip Hop, both Carter and Kraft’s organizations -- the Shawn Carter Foundation and the Foundation to Combat Antisemitism -- have gifted $1 million to deliver free legal services to educators and librarians who've been targeted by local policies banning books.

The American Library Association reportedly documented nearly 1,300 demands last year to remove books -- most highlighting the Black and LGBTQIA+ communities, as well as religious minorities.

According to reports, Kraft and Carter have established the means for underserved students to acquire scholarships and financial grants, and potentially have their creations turned into movies, plays, audiobooks, etc. to promote the cause.

For more information on applying for a Shawn Carter Foundation scholarship click here.

There's also a strategy to reprint the books that have been banned and have them distributed in neighboring learning centers.

As of July 14th, 2023, the Brooklyn Public Library will stand as the staging ground for their initiative, starting with "Books Unbanned," a nationwide campaign that provides free books to children hassle-free.

The Brooklyn Public Library also unveiled Jay-Z's new exhibit "The Book of HOV" on Friday, which showcases the Roc Nation rapper's legacy and written history in an elaborate fashion.

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