Looks like Beyoncé is hitting two birds with one stone as reveals that racism and sexism continues to be one of the biggest issues in the entertainment industry. In her segment on YouTube Originals’ “Dear Class of 2020,” Queen Bey shared her experience on making a name for herself in a male-dominated industry.
In the almost 10-minute clip that she also uploaded on her Instagram, Beyoncé started off by congratulating the graduating class of 2020. She notes that they’re here during “a global crisis, a racial pandemic and worldwide expression of outrage at the senseless killing of yet another unarmed black human being.” With this, she tells the graduates she’s proud of them for still making it.
After this, she used the opportunity to thank the graduates for using their voices to support the Black Lives Matter campaign. “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. Real change has started with you, this new generation of high school and college graduates who we celebrate today,” she said.
Another highlight of her speech was when she talked about how race and gender play a big role in the entertainment industry. “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,” Beyoncé said as she went on about how she grabbed the opportunity to build her own empire. It was then that she realized that not everyone has the same privilege as her to—which is why she opened her empire to those easily overlooked in the entertainment industry.
“Many of the best creatives and business people, who although supremely qualified and talented, were turned down over and over as executives at major corporations because they were female or because of racial disparity. And I’ve been very proud to provide them with a place at my table,” she said. She also shared that she devoted her craft to showing how rich and beautiful black culture is.
At the end of her speech, she urged the graduates to embrace what makes them unique and to build a stage for themselves. “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, make them see you,” she concluded.
Screengrab from the “Best Thing I Never Had” MV
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