Beyoncé was honored at the 20th annual BET Awards tonight with the Humanitarian Award in honor of her BeyGOOD initiative . In her acceptance speech, she spoke to her fellow Black Americans when she encouraged them to keep up the work to “change and dismantle a racist an unequal system.”
Before Beyoncé spoke, Michelle Obama honored “[her] girl” as someone who is “always turning up, looking out, and making us all a little bit better, a little more fierce.” She was also honored in a tribute video by her mother, Tina Lawson, Tyler Perry, Ivy McGregor (her director of social responsibility), Trayvon Martin’s mother, Sybrina Fulton, and more.
Here is her full speech:
“Thank you so much for this beautiful honor. I want to dedicate this award to all of my brothers out there, all of my sisters out there inspiring me—marching and fighting for change. Your voices are being heard, and you’re proving to our ancestors that their struggles were not in vain. Now we have one more thing we need to do to walk in our true power, and that is to vote. I’m encouraging you to continue to take action. Continue to change and dismantle a racist an unequal system. We have to continue to do this together. Continue to fight for each other and lift each other up, because there are people banking on us staying at home during the local elections and primaries happening in states across the country. We have to vote like our life depends on it, because it does. So please continue to be the change you want to see. Thank you, everyone who took the time to speak in that beautiful presentation, and thank you BET for this honor. It means so much to me, especially comin’ from ya’ll. I love you, D. God Bless you, and good night.”
As part of her philanthropic efforts this year, Bey teamed up with her mom, Lawson, for the #IDidMyPart mobile COVID testing in their hometown, Houston. In her speech to the 2020 graduates on June 7, she pointed out that the coronavirus pandemic is “a racial pandemic,” pointing to the fact that the Black community has been disproportionately affected by the virus in the U.S.
On Juneteenth, she released her single “Black Parade” to honor the Black community and the date in 1865 when slaves in Texas were told that slavery had been abolished in the U.S. She also p0sted artists and creators whose work her fans could support.
Tonight, she posted a letter, which she wrote with her mother, to urge Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Minority Leader Chuck Schumer to pass the Heroes Act.
“This bill would help provide funding to ensure that our vote is protected this election cycle,” she wrote. “Read the letter and add your voice with ours. Together we can be the change we want to see in the world. Sign the petition today by clicking the link in my bio. #ANDSTILLIVOTE.”
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