It goes without saying: 2020 has been a year. But for those who graduated without a ceremony, Beyonce stepped up with words of wisdom for the future, during Youtube’s ‘Dear Class of 2020’ event.
“Congratulations to the class of 2020. You have arrived”, proclaimed Beyonce, as she kicked off a powerful commencement speech for the event from her home. Joining the likes of Taylor Swift, Ciara, and The Obamas, Beyonce talked to the young men and women who were not afforded the chance to grab their diploma in front of huge crowd, due to the coronavirus crisis.
While many speeches had been prerecorded before the current events surrounding George Floyd, Beyonce spoke clearly and directly about both the pandemic and the protests happening around the world with a powerful reminder to young graduates. “All those who feel different,” she said. “If you’re part of a group that’s called ‘other’. A group that does not get to be center stage. Build your own stage and make them see you.”
“Your queerness is beautiful,” she added. “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.”
She also reminded the graduating class to learn from their failures and the hard times in their lives. “Yes, I’ve been blessed to win 24 Grammys,” she said, “but I’ve lost 46 times…Don’t feel entitled to win. Surrender to the cards you’re dealt. Losing can be the best motivator.”
Her inspirational message to quarantined graduates comes off the heels of another powerful message she made the weekend before. On May 30, the reigning Queen B posted a video on her Instagram in response to the death of George Floyd and the ongoing protests being carried out in his name. “We’re broken and we’re disgusted,” she says in a video posted on Instagram. “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.”
As moving it has been to see Beyonce and stars from all areas of the entertainment industry come together to support the Black Lives Matter movement, it was equally as moving to see many of those same stars give their time to inspire the next generation like this. Stars like Jennifer Lopez, Demi Lovato, Janelle Monáe, Billy Porter, and countless more, all raising their voices, giving hope to young people who right now might feel pretty hopeless.
But today, let’s celebrate what we hope to be a brighter future for everyone.