American journalist, Germany Kent once said, “To say nothing is saying something. You must denounce things you are against or one might believe that you support things you really do not.” It is because of the importance of speaking up and using your voice and influence, that several famous faces are addressing the pertinent issue of racial injustice in the United States and other parts of the world.
Beyoncé, famously known for being a keen supporter of the Black Lives Matter movement, released a video on June 8 via Instagram, addressing the graduating Class of 2020. Speaking passionately, she discussed topical issues, such as the murder of George Floyd and several other “unarmed Black human beings” by police officers and the role of both Blacks and non-Blacks in fighting systemic racism.
“You have arrived 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,” she said. “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.”
Beyoncé also spoke on the sexism that still exists in the entertainment industry and the importance of seating at the table – even if that means bringing your own seat or building your own table.
“As a woman, I did not see enough female role models given the opportunity to do what I knew I had to do. To run my label and manage my company. To direct my films and produce my tours. That meant ownership. Owning my masters. Owning my art. Owning my future, and writing my own story,” Beyoncé said. “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.”
She doesn’t leave the Class of 2020 without some much-needed motivation, especially at a time such as this. “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.”