This woman created her own sustainable candles during lockdown
This woman created her own sustainable candles during lockdown

Jennifer McShane

Exhausted with unexplained pain? You could have haemochromatosis
Exhausted with unexplained pain? You could have haemochromatosis

Grace McGettigan

The Howth train attack represents a lawlessness that makes me fear for my daughters
The Howth train attack represents a lawlessness that makes me fear for my daughters

Amanda Cassidy

The jump from one to two children: “I was afraid I’d used up all my love on our first baby”
The jump from one to two children: “I was afraid I’d used up all my...

Amanda Cassidy

How to elevate your picnic game, according to the Vintage Tea Trips team
How to elevate your picnic game, according to the Vintage Tea Trips team

Shayna Sappington

You can now book your appointment to shop at Penneys
You can now book your appointment to shop at Penneys

Jennifer McShane

There’s nothing quite as believable as the story you tell yourself, about yourself
There’s nothing quite as believable as the story you tell yourself, about yourself

Niamh Ennis

Image / Editorial

WATCH: Beyoncé delivers inspiring commencement speech to class of 2020


by IMAGE
08th Jun 2020
blank

Your queerness is beautiful, your blackness is beautiful. Your compassion, your understanding, your fight for people who may be different from you, is beautiful…


The Queen has spoken. In a powerful commencement speech for YouTube’s Dear Class of 2020 series, Beyoncé talked about Black Lives Matter, the global crisis and sexism within the entertainment industry.

The virtual graduation ceremony, which streamed on YouTube yesterday, kicked off with a flute performance by Lizzo and also featured appearances from Barack and Michelle Obama, Taylor Swift, Jennifer Lopez, Zendaya, Yara Shahidi, Billy Porter, Kerry Washington, Lady Gaga and Katy Perry.

Beyoncé’s Class of 2020 address 

“Thank you President Obama and Mrs. Obama for including me in this very special day. And congratulations to the Class of 2020. 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. Thank you. We’re so proud of 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, 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.

I did not get to experience college like some of you, or the campus parties that left you the next day struggling in class, although that could’ve been fun. But my parents did teach me the value of education, how to be authentic in my actions, and how to celebrate individuality, and the importance of investing in myself.

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.

Now some of you might be the first in your family to graduate from college. Maybe you did not follow the path that was expected of you, and you probably questioned everything about your decision. But know that stepping out is the best thing you can do for self discovery.

I know how hard it is to step out and bet on yourself. There was a pivotal turning point in my life when I chose to build my own company many years ago. I had to trust that I was ready, and that my parents and mentors provided me with the tools I needed to be successful. But that was terrifying.

The entertainment business is still very sexist. It’s still very male-dominated. And 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. 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. That meant hiring women, men, outsiders, underdogs, people that were overlooked and waiting to be seen.

Many of the best creatives and business people, who although supremely qualified and talented, were turned down over and over as executives at major corporations because they were female or because of racial disparity. And I’ve been very proud to provide them with a place at my table.

One of the main purposes of my art for many years has been dedicated to showing the beauty of Black people to the world, our history, our profundity and the value of Black lives. I’ve tried my best to pull down the veil of appeasement to those who may feel uncomfortable with our excellence.

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. And to the young kings, lean into your vulnerability and redefine masculinity. Lead with heart. There’s so many different ways to be brilliant.

I believe you and every human being is born with a masterful gift. Don’t let 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.

To all those who feel different. If you’re 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.”

Read more: WATCH: Meghan Markle delivers heartfelt speech on the killing of George Floyd

Read more: WATCH: Imelda May recites her poem ‘You Don’t Get To Be Racist And Irish’

Read more: Michelle Obama’s ‘Becoming’ documentary is the light we need right now

 

Also Read

Women with MS who take medication, especially immunosuppressants, cannot become pregnant unless they come off medication.
premium HEALTH & WELLNESS, REAL-LIFE STORIES
I had to weigh up the possibility of losing my mind against losing my future children

Holograms of the children she may never have dance across Dearbhla Crosses' mind as an MS diagnosis and Covid-19 are unwelcome reminders of her biological clock ticking.

By Dearbhla Crosse

Keith-_-Tara_130_Web Shantanu Starick painting kitchen cabinets
EDITORIAL
How to limit drips and brush strokes while painting kitchen cabinets

Painting kitchen cabinets can be transformative and can be achieved relatively low-cost,...

By Amanda Kavanagh

blank
AGENDA, EDITORIAL
TV presenter Kate Garraway’s husband ‘may never ‘have any kind of life’ after Covid battle

By Jennifer McShane

blank
EDITORIAL
The Howth train attack represents a lawlessness that makes me fear for my daughters

I fear the true fallout of Covid on our cities...

By Amanda Cassidy

Has society become more tolerant of the idea of dating interracially?
premium IMAGE WRITES, REAL-LIFE STORIES, RELATIONSHIPS
Interracial dating: “People kept asking ‘where is she from?'”

With diversity on the rise, what struggles do interracial couples continue to face today? Filomena Kaguako speaks to three couples about their experiences.

By Filomena Kaguako

shells cafe
EDITORIAL
A Sligo cottage is transformed into a cool and cosy surfers’ haven

Still one of our favourite homes ever, the easy-breezy interiors...

By IMAGE Interiors & Living

Rosanna Davidson and her twin boys
premium REAL-LIFE STORIES, PARENTHOOD
Rosanna Davidson: ‘I had sort of accepted that I was a girl who couldn’t have a baby herself’

For Mother's Day Lia Hynes sits down with Rosanna Davidson, whose exceptional journey into motherhood has given many hope.

By Lia Hynes