Beyoncé is “proud of you,” 2020 graduates!
During YouTube’s “Dear Class of 2020” special on Sunday, the “Halo” singer gave an inspiring speech honoring those affected by the coronavirus pandemic, as well as black Americans — including George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, and Breonna Taylor — whose unjust killings have sparked protests around the world.
“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,” she said. “Thank you for using your collective voice in letting the world know that black lives matter.”
In her address, the 38-year-old told the leaders of tomorrow to embrace their individuality and to challenge conformity.
“Don’t make the world make you feel that you have to look a certain way to be brilliant. And no, you don’t have to speak a certain way to be brilliant, but you do have to spread your gift around the planet in a way that is authentically you,” the songstress remarked. “To all those who feel different: If you’re part of a group that is called ‘other,’ a group that does not get the chance to be center 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,” she continued. “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.”
Watch her full speech, below:
On May 29, the musician posted a video urging fans to sign a number of petitions — from organizations such as the NAACP, #WeCan’tBreathe, Color of Change, and Change.org — demanding justice for Floyd, who died in May after his neck was pinned to the ground by white police officer Derek Chauvin’s knee.
Since this video, the three other officers involved in Floyd’s killing — Tou Thao, Thomas Lane, and J. Alexander Kueng — were charged with aiding and abetting second degree murder and aiding and abetting second degree manslaughter.
Chauvin — who was previously charged with third degree murder and manslaughter — also faces a charge of second degree murder.