Beyoncé was honored with the Humanitarian Award on Sunday night, June 28, at the BET Awards 2020, and her speech was powerful.
For those who don't know, the BET Awards Humanitarian nod goes to a public figure whose philanthropic efforts are particularly inspired. Beyoncé has a 20-year history of being an advocate for social justice and change, particularly for Black people. This has greatly influenced her most recent work—from 2016's Lemonade to Black Is King, her new Disney+ visual album coming later this summer.
Former First Lady Michelle Obama presented the award to Beyoncé. "From her music that gives voice to Black joy and Black pain to her activism that demands justice for Black lives," Obama said. "…She's always turning up, looking out, and making us all a little bit better…You inspire me. You inspire all of us."
It's no surprise Bey offered some wise words while accepting the honor during the BET Awards 2020 (which was virtual and featured pre-taped segments from artists and celebrities).
"I want to dedicate this award to all my brothers and sisters out there inspiring me, marching for change," she said. "We have one more thing to do to walk in our true power: vote. We have to vote like our lives depend on it. Because it does." Watch her speech, below:
Bey then shared a trailer for Black Is King, the visual album out July 31.
On June 19 (a.k.a Juneteenth), Beyoncé dropped a surprise single, "Black Parade." "Happy Juneteenth Weekend! I hope we continue to share joy and celebrate each other, even in the midst of struggle. Please continue to remember our beauty, strength and power," she wrote on Instagram at the time.
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Happy Juneteenth Weekend! I hope we continue to share joy and celebrate each other, even in the midst of struggle. Please continue to remember our beauty, strength and power. _ “BLACK PARADE” celebrates you, your voice and your joy and will benefit Black-owned small businesses. Click the link in my bio to learn more.
And a few weeks ago, Beyoncé gave a very poignant graduation speech to the class of 2020. "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 centre 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," she said.
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