When Beyoncé made a surprise appearance at Disney’s Family Singalong, we thought that was the only gift we’d be getting from Queen Bey during the quarantine. But on Sunday, the Lemonade singer graced our screens yet again for YouTube’s Dear Class of 2020 virtual commencement ceremony and shared some powerful words for the graduating class.
“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, and you still made it,” she expressed. “Thank you for using your collective voice and letting the world know that Black lives matter. 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 can start the wheels of change. Real change has started with you.”
The “Formation” singer continued to praise the new generation of graduates and stressed how important it is to invest in yourself.
“Dear graduates, please remember to take a little bit of time to give thanks to your family members and the community who has been such a big support system for you. You are achieving things your parents and grandparents never could imagine for themselves. You are the answer to a generation of prayers.”
The Grammy award-winning artist went on to share her own experience about stepping out of her comfort zone to start her own company and how terrified she felt betting on herself. She also made time to highlight the struggles of being a Black woman in the entertainment industry and pointed out that more work needs to be done, especially when it comes to representation of all backgrounds.
“To the young women, our future leaders, know that you’re about to make the world turn. I see you. You are everything the world needs. Make those power moves. Be excellent," she said. "And to the young kings, lean into your vulnerability and redefine masculinity. Lead with heart. There are so many different ways to be brilliant. I believe you and every human being is born with a masterful gift. Don’t make the world make you feel like 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 it’s authentically you.”
"To all those that feel different, if you’re a part of a group that’s 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. 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."
The Lion King star revealed the negativity that is constantly placed on her and stressed how the young generation should rise above the hate by turning criticism into motivation.
“When you feel like you’re not in control or the world is against you, let that vulnerability motivate you into greatness. That’s how I found my true self. I remain a work in progress and that’s the beauty of growth," she said “I’ve been happiest when I let go and allow life to show me the next move. When you bet on yourself you’re making an investment into your own future.”
Beyoncé ended the speech by urging the class of 2020 to use their voice, to take action and to not let obstacles get in the way of their goals.
“This is a crucial time in our history and in your life. The earth is ripping that bandaid off, so we can really see our wounds. So we can acknowledge and nourish them. That’s when true healing begins. You can be that leader we all need. You can lead the movement that celebrates humanity.”
“I know you are ready to start one of the most important journeys of your life. You are on the brink of a huge world shift. Look how far you’ve come and how much you contributed. Keep pushing. Forget the fear. Forget the doubt. Keep investing and keep betting on yourself.”
No one could have said it better.