Arts and Entertainment Editor
I cannot say with a good conscience that I am a dedicated member of the Bey Hive- please hold your attacks. With that being said, I am proud to say that this review is anything but biased.
In 2018, Beyoncé became the first black woman to headline Coachella, arguably the most popular music festival in the country. The motivation behind Beyoncé’s performance was to pay homage to Black American culture by representing HBCUs around the country. Beyoncé says she could have simply, “pulled out her ‘flower crown’” for her performance. Instead, she brilliantly depicted the spirit of HBCUs through her own Homecoming experience, for hundreds of thousands of viewers around the world to witness.
What amazes me is that Beyoncé performed at the 2018 Coachella festival ten months post-pregnancy. She was weighing in at over 200 pounds during pregnancy, and had experienced preeclampsia, high blood pressure and other hardships. When it comes to iconic performers, we tend to take them for granted. We forget that their lives encompass more than producing phenomenal performances. They are someone’s mother, friend, daughter, lover. Over the span of ten months, Beyoncé rehearsed vocals, choreography, lighting and more, while balancing being a wife and mother to three young children. She is the epitome of a strong black woman.
As an individual who formerly attended an HBCU, The illustrious North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University, I can attest to the nearly perfect execution of the embodiment of the spirit of an HBCU during Beyoncé’s 2018 Coachella performance. As her performance began, Beyoncé strutted down the stage in her Queen Nefertiti inspired wardrobe and matching crown, to the banging beat of a marching band styled orchestra, and step dance choreography.
In a voiceover in her Netflix documentary, Beyoncé says, “I want every person that has ever felt like they have been dismissed because of the way that they look to feel like they are on that stage killing it.” In her two-hour performance, Beyoncé incorporated beats from C-Murder, O.T. Genasis, and more. She also referenced Black icons such as Toni Morrison, Nina Simone, W.E.B. DuBois and more. Special guest performances include Jay Z, Destiny’s Child and her sister, Solange.
A Malcolm X voiceover is heard reciting, “the most disrespected person in America is the Black woman.” Yet, Beyoncé gracefully and fearlessly shows that a Black woman can do anything! Her 2018 performance is an ode to blackness, of every shape, color and size.
She says, “I do this to make my daughter proud, my mother, my father, my brothers and sisters from around the world… if my country *** can do it, they can do it!”
Maya Angelou’s voice is heard saying, “What I really want to do is be a representative of my race, of the human race… I have a chance to show how kind we can be, how intelligent and generous we can be. I have a chance to teach and to love and to laugh.”
Michelle Obama recently commented on the documentary, saying, “I love that it’s both a celebration and a call to action.”
Beyoncé’s last performance on the documentary is a new band rendition of “Love on Top.” As she finished the selection, she proudly raised her fist in the air and gave recognition to everyone on her team, including dancers, background singers, orchestra, drumline, crew and her family.
There’s nothing quite like an HBCU experience. Even if you are like myself and do not consider yourself a die-hard Beyoncé fan, this documentary is well worth the two hours and seventeen minutes of pure culture, entertainment and bliss. Beyoncé, on behalf of the black community, I would personally like to thank you for so passionately honoring our culture.
Categories: Arts & Entertainment