Team ROC, the social justice and philanthropic arm of Jay-Z’s Roc Nation agency, has been heavily involved in uncovering the inhumane treatment of inmates inside the Mississippi State Penitentiary (aka Parchman Farm).
Back in 2020, Roc Nation founder Shawn “Jay-Z” Carter and fellow Hip Hop mogul Mario “Yo Gotti” Mims worked with attorneys and medical experts to present evidence of Parchman Farm’s unsanitary living situations.
Two years later, Jay-Z and Yo Gotti’s advocacy led to a Department of Justice investigation into the Mississippi State Penitentiary. A DOJ report suggested the facility’s conditions violated the Eighth and Fourteenth Amendments to the U.S. Constitution.
Roc Nation partnered with the A&E Network, ITV America’s Good Caper Content, and Red Summer TV to produce a documentary about Mississippi’s oldest prison. Exposing Parchman will air on June 17 at 8 pm ET/PT on A&E.
Jay-Z, Yo Gotti & More Appear In The Exposing Parchman Doc
“The accounts of the individuals incarcerated at Parchman and their desperate family members are heartbreaking. There are so many untold stories like this that have a profound impact on American culture, communities, and families,” said Elaine Frontain Bryant, Executive Vice President and Head of Programming for A&E.
Bryant continues, “Shining a light on human rights atrocities and the need for reform has been a cornerstone of the A&E brand and we hope Exposing Parchman brings awareness to the public and sparks much-needed change to the American prison and justice system.”
Exposing Parchman includes interviews with Jay-Z, Yo Gotti, Congressman Bennie Thompson, activist Tamika Mallory, and activist Rukia Lumumba. The Rahman Ali Bugg-directed film also features family members of current and formerly incarcerated men, other prison reform activists, and the legal team that led the lawsuit.
Exposing Parchman Will Premiere At The Tribeca Festival
“The incarcerated population in Parchman and their loved ones have experienced immeasurable pain and suffering, so we felt a responsibility to help them share their stories with the compassion and consideration that it deserves,” said Desiree Perez, CEO of Roc Nation.
Perez also added, “Our hope is that this documentary will educate the public about these torturous injustices, hold the leaders in Mississippi accountable for fostering unconstitutional and inhumane conditions in Parchman, and create swift and comprehensive change to eradicate the state’s depravity in this prison and disregard for the criminal justice system.”
Before airing on A&E, Exposing Parchman will premiere at the 2023 Tribeca Festival in New York City on June 14. The subjects, legal team, and Roc Nation executives behind the documentary will take part in a panel discussion following the screening.