Where Jay-Z Got His Obama/Rosa Parks Line From


Paper tracks down the source of Jay-Z’s “Rosa Parks sat so Martin Luther King could walk. Martin Luther King walked so Obama could run. Obama’s running so we all can fly” quote, which showed up first on the campaign trail, and then in Jay’s “My President” remix, albeit with slightly different words. David Hershkovits notes that the French philosopher Bernard-Henry Levy, of all people, seemingly first coined it on Charlie Rose, but then gives the ultimate attribution to Cleo Fields, a former Louisiana congressman. No indication how Hershkovits figured the lineage out, but I’m sure Jay’s not relinquishing the quote anytime soon. Sean Carter, the new George Balanchine?

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