Beyoncé on Sunday delivered a message to the graduating Class of 2020, marking their achievement with a speech amplifying messages of the Black Lives Matter movement and praising change-makers.
The superstar artist was among a roster of A-listers to participate in YouTube’s global virtual commencement ceremony “Dear Class of 2020.”
“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,” the 38-year-old mother of three said. “And you still made it. We’re so proud of you.”
Beyoncé was referring to the anti-racism protests roiling the nation as thousands take to the streets decrying systemic white supremacy and police brutality.
“Thank you for using your collective voice in letting the world know that Black Lives Matter,” she said.
“Real change has started with you, this new generation of high school and college graduates we celebrate today.”
The wildly popular artist also took the moment to lambast persistent sexism in the music industry and beyond.
“As a woman, I did not see enough female role models given the opportunity to do what I knew I had to do,” she related.
“To run my label and management company, to direct my tours, that meant ownership — owning my masters, owning my heart, owning my future and owning my own story.”
Beyoncé wrapped her message that ignited social media with a message for those who feel left on the margins: “Your queerness is beautiful, your blackness is beautiful, your compassion, your understanding.”
“Your fight for people who may be different from you is beautiful.”