If there is anyone who can help motivate the masses as we continue to fight racial injustice, oppression and the reiteration of the value of black life, it is none other than Beyoncé.
During her opening address to Barack and Michelle Obama’s “Dear Class of 2020” YouTube virtual graduation ceremony, the singer praised the high school students, who have persevered through an unprecedented period in the country – from the pandemic to police brutality.
“Thank you for using your collective voice and letting the world know that black lives matter,” she said. “The murders of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor and so many others have shattered us all. He left the whole country looking for answers. “
“We saw that our collective hearts, when put into positive action, could start the wheels of change,” continued the “Freedom” singer. “The real change started with you; this new generation of high school and college graduates that we are celebrating today.
Beyoncé noted that even though she didn’t go to college and didn’t like “campus nights,” her parents taught her the value of education. She added that Mathew Knowles and Tina Knowles-Lawson also taught her “how to be genuine in my actions” and “the importance of investing in yourself”.
Queen Bey didn’t just address racism during her speech to the Class of 2020. She also spoke out against sexism in the music industry, which she faced when creating her own. company in 2010.
“The entertainment industry is always very sexist,” she says. “It’s always very male dominated and as a woman I didn’t see enough female role models for what I knew I had to do. Running my label and management company, directing my films and producing my tours, that meant owning – owning my masters, owning my art, owning my future and writing my own story.
“There weren’t enough black women at the table. So I had to cut my own wood and build my own table, ”she said of her company, Parkwood, named for a street in Houston, Texas, where Bey once lived. “Then I had to invite the best to take a seat. It meant hiring women, men from the outside, outsiders, people who were overlooked and waiting to be seen.
“You are on the verge of a huge global change. Look how far you’ve come and see how much you’ve contributed, ”Bey told the graduates in conclusion. “Keep betting on yourself and congratulations.”
Dear Class of 2020 has also been joined by other big names such as Alicia Keys, Lady Gaga and our Forever President Barack Obama.