Watch: Beyonce calls out 'sexist' music industry, lends support to Black Lives Matter movement in 2020 Youtube graduation speech

Beyonce Knowles-Carter joined a roster of guest speakers for YouTube’s global virtual commencement ceremony Dear Class of 2020 on Sunday.

FP Staff June 08, 2020 16:15:26 IST
Watch: Beyonce calls out 'sexist' music industry, lends support to Black Lives Matter movement in 2020 Youtube graduation speech

Beyonce Knowles-Carter joined a roster of guest speakers for YouTube’s global virtual commencement ceremony Dear Class of 2020 on Sunday.

She began her speech by congratulating the graduates for making it despite the adverse conditions of the world, “Congratulations to the class of 2020, 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, we’re so proud of you.”

The singer further spoke about the recent protests in US as well as shared her secrets to success and the importance of ownership.

“Thank you for using your collective voice and letting the worlds know that Black lives matter. 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’ve seen that our collective hearts, when put to positive action, could start the wheels of change.

“Look what you’ve been able to do in the last 14 days,” she said. “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. You are achieving things your parents and grandparents never could imagine for themselves,” she said. “You are the answer to a generation of prayers.”

Beyoncé advised graduates to believe in themselves as she did when the singer started her own company a decade ago. She said creating her own lane was challenging in an entertainment business that is still “very sexist” and “male-dominated.”

“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. Then I had to invite the best there was to have a seat. That meant hiring women, men outsiders, underdogs, people that were overlook and waiting to be seen”

She went on to talk about how executives at major corporations have overlooked some of the best creatives and business people because they were women or because of racial disparity. “I’ve been very proud to provide them with a place at my table,” she said. “One of the main purposes of my art for many years has been dedicated to showing the beauty of Black people to the world, our history, our profundity and the value of Black lives. I’ve tried my best to pull down the veil of appeasement to those who may feel uncomfortable with our excellence.”

She said how young women are the future leaders and how they make the world turn. “I see you. You are everything the world needs.” For the “young kings”, she encourages to”lean into your vulnerability and redefine masculinity” and “lead with heart.”

Beyonce concludes with, “Whatever you do, don’t let negativity of people projecting their own self-doubts on you to deter you from your focus.”

“Turn those criticisms into fuel and motivation to become a beautiful beast,” she said. “Respect is everything.”

Watch her video here


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Beyonce was a part of the all-day online celebration which honoured graduating students who were unable to have an in-person commencement ceremony due to the coronavirus pandemic. Also featured were words of encouragement from Barack and Michelle Obama, famous K-pop band BTS and Lady Gaga.

(With inputs from Associated Press)

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