Beyoncé Addresses the Class of 2020 in Virtual Commencement Address

June 8, 2020

In a moving virtual commencement address, Beyoncé shared some words of wisdom for the Class of 2020, touching on racial injustices, coronavirus, and sexism in the music industry.

YouTube's "Dear Class of 2020" event brought stars from all across the board, but notably, Beyoncé gave a moving and empowering speech to those who were unable to attend normal graduation ceremonies this year.

"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. And you still made it. We're so proud of you," she begins.

"Thank 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 broken," she continues.

She goes on to say that positive action is the answer to the change many want to see, and she credits the Class of 2020 for starting that process.

Queen Bey then dives into her own experience as a black woman, noting that she works in a male-dominated industry. "As a woman, I did not see enough female role models given the opportunity to do what I knew I had to do," she explains.

She continues, "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."

She then uses her experience to try to inspire the Class of 2020 to go out and be authentically themselves. "To all those who feel different - if you're a 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," she says.

She rounds out her speech by highlighting that this generation is graduating on "the brink of a huge world shift."

"Keep pushing. Forget the fear. Forget the doubt. Keep investing, and keep betting on yourself, and congratulations," she concludes.

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