Over the past decades, Beyoncé has been using her platform and her art to give voice to social issues such as racial inequality and women’s rights. And with the release of her cinematic visual album Black is King which explores the beauty and creative power of the singer’s heritage and history, Queen B—as her fans call her—continues to push toward equality and empowerment.
This year’s release of Black is King on Disney+ has been very timely as the Black Lives Matter movement and the fight against police brutality, racism, and other social issues re-emerge in the spotlight. (Read: Catriona Gray takes stand on racism, joins ‘Black Lives Matter’ movement) But contrary to popular belief, the production of the album actually started over a year ago after the release of Beyoncé’s surprise soundtrack, The Lion King: The Gift, which she produced for the 2019 Disney remake of The Lion King.
To celebrate the release of Beyoncé’s new visual album Black is King, we take a moment to look back at how Queen B has been using her powerful voice to shed light on the Black Lives Matter movement. (Read: Three Pinays who use their ‘celebrity status’ for a bigger purpose)
She called out racism in a speech to graduates.
Beyoncé was one of the chosen guest speakers for YouTube’s Dear Class of 2020 series which is a global virtual commencement tribute to those graduating without an actual ceremony due to the Coronavirus pandemic.
In her powerful graduation speech, Beyoncé paid tribute to Black Lives Matter and called out sexism and racism. (Read: Catholic Nun on Rape Culture: ‘Stop Victim Blaming’)
“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,” Queen B said. “Thank you for using your collective voice and letting the world know that Black Lives Matter,” the singer said.
She mobilized her fans to demand justice for George Floyd.
At the height of the Black Lives Matter movement, Beyoncé was among the several celebrities who used their social media platforms to demand change in the system and justice for George Floyd—an African American man who was brutally killed by cops. (Read: Meet 4 Celebrities Who Advocate for Civil Rights)
“We’re broken and we’re disgusted,” Beyoncé went on to say in an Instagram video. “We cannot normalize this pain. I’m not only speaking to people of color. If you’re white, black, brown and anything in between, I’m sure you feel hopeless by the racism going on in America right now,” she added.
Her film ‘Homecoming’ celebrates black culture.
Even before the re-emergence of the Black Lives Matter movement, Queen B has already been working on putting the issues of racism in America under the spotlight.
In fact, her documentary project with Netflix, Homecoming, is much more than a film but a masterpiece that serves as a nod to black writers, scholars, musicians, and activists. In the documentary, Beyoncé describes the importance of historic black universities and the importance of a black-led education.