Beyoncé Celebrates Blackness When We Need It Most
By Frederick Joseph
In 2018 Beyoncé became the first Black woman to headline the Coachella festival. Instead of using the opportunity to showcase herself alone, Beyoncé used the opportunity to celebrate Black music and Black culture including Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU) and Black Greek Life. In an inspired moment, Beyoncé even created a Black Sorority – ‘Beyoncé Alpha Knowles’ – that now everyone wants to join.
Beyoncé’s performance was the highest watched Coachella of all time, following the success of her performance, she gifted her fans with surprise content, as she has in the past. Beyoncé’s recently released new Netflix documentary “Homecoming” chronicles the eight months it took to prepare for the performance including creating choreography, imagining the new sorority and, of course, the music.
And speaking of music, there is also a new live album by the same name that includes two new songs. One of the new songs is a new edition of the Frankie Beverly and Maze classic “Before I Let You Go” and features a sample of the song “Candy”, by the group Cameo. The implications of this track are more than meets the eye.
These songs feature Black musical staples that have been used in all major events in our lives for generations from weddings to BBQ’s Closing out Coachella was a major statement of Black pride. Something we desperately needed right now. Over the last few years, both Beyoncé and her husband have placed a premium of platforming and celebrating Blackness in their work, and highlighting the nuances of Black culture.
In the middle of what seems like drowning in an ocean of white supremacy with the burning of Black churches and the barrage of attacks on Black women such as Congresswoman, Ilhan Omar, Beyoncé’s dropping Homecoming feels like a life raft sent to us by a sister, that carries with it a reminder of the power of Black Culture and life affirmation of Black joy. We need it now as much as we ever have.
Frederick Joseph is Chief Communications Officer at Auburn Seminary and a Marketing and Impact Expert.
If you want to learn more about loving Blackness read about our Sojourner Truth Leadership Circle.