Beyoncé And Other Celebs Spoke Openly In Youtube’s Commencement Speach For Class Of 2020 About George Floyd
Beyoncé has always used her voice for good and amidst so much tragedy as of late, she’s opted to use it to spread light and insight to the people who will soon impact the world for the better. Over the weekend, Queen Bey spoke to graduating students of the Class of 2020 to remind them of their collective power and strength.
As part of YouTube’s virtual commencement event called Dear Class of 2020, the singer spoke to students about the power of fighting together and using their own voices to speak out against injustice.
“You have arrived — here in the middle of a global crisis, a racial pandemic, and worldwide expression of outrage at the senseless killing of yet another unarmed black human being, and you still made it,” Beyoncé began her speech referring to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic and the recent police killing of George Floyd. ,
“The killings of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, and so many others have left us all broken. It has left the entire country searching for answers. We have seen that our positive hearts, when put to collective action could start the wills of change. Real change has started with you, this new generation of high school and college graduates.”
As part of her speech, Beyoncé reflected on the role that education and support from community members can have on making positive change.
Beyoncé used her own experience of making the decision to build her own label despite the established and veteran white, male-dominated entertainment industry it was up against. “Not enough black women had a seat at the table, so I had to go and chop down that wood and build my own table,” she explained. Then, I had to invite the best there was to have a seat. That meant hiring women, men, outsiders, underdogs, people that were overlooked and waiting to be seen.”
To students who aren’t often seen by their educators and peers, Beyonce had an important message as well.
“To the young women, our future leaders, know that you’re about to make the world turn. I see you. You are everything the world needs. Make those power moves. And to the young kings, lean into your vulnerability and redefine masculinity. Lead with heart,” she encouraged. “To all those who feel different, if you’re part of a group that’s called ‘other’ a group that does not get the chance to be centre stage: Build your own stage, and make them see you. Your queerness is beautiful. Your blackness is beautiful. Your compassion, your understanding, your fight for people who may be different from you is beautiful. I hope you continue to go into the world and show them that you will never stop being yourself, that it’s your time now.”
In the last moments of her speech, Beyoncé underlined the power students and young people have, both individually and as a collective.
“Class of 2020: Every thought in your mind is powerful. Every word you speak is powerful. Every action you take has consequences for yourself and your community. Look what you’ve been able to do in the last 14 days. We’ve seen the power of the collective. We’ve seen what happens when we join for the same cause. Please continue to be the voice for the voiceless,” she said.
“Whatever the world looks like in 10 years, in 20 years, part of that is up to you,” she concluded. “This is a crucial time in our history, and in your life. The earth is ripping that bandaid off so we can really see our wounds. So we can acknowledge and nurture them. That’s when true healing begins. You can be that leader we all need. You can lead the movement that celebrates humanity.”
Check out Beyoncé’s speech here.
Youtube debuted Dear Class of 2020 on Sunday as opposed to this past Saturday due to Floyd’s memorial service. Singer Lizzo opened the commencement alongside the New York Philharmonic’s performance of “Pomp and Circumstance.” In addition to Beyonce, Alicia Keys, Michelle, and Barack Obama spoke. Other speakers included BTS, Lady Gaga, former Secretary of Defense Robert M. Gates, former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, and activist Malala Yousafzai.