Beyoncé urges public “to vote like our life depends on it, because it does”
Superstar Beyoncé Knowles-Carter received the prestigious Humanitarian Award at the BET Awards on Sunday. Former first lady Michelle Obama presented the night’s biggest honor to the singer.
“No matter how big the stages get, I know my girl isn’t satisfied unless she’s sharing all that shine she has with the next generation,” Mrs. Obama said. “She’s always turning up, looking out, and making us all a little bigger, better, a little more fierce. And she’s doing it all while staying devoted to her children and the loved ones she holds dear. So to my girl, I just want to say, you inspire me. You inspire all of us.”
Beyoncé, who received the award in recognition of her philanthropic work through her BeyGOOD initiative, used her acceptance speech to acknowledge those who have been protesting against police brutality and racial inequality.
“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,” she said.
The “Love on Top” singer used the platform to directly appeal to viewers to vote.
“I’m encouraging you to continue to take action. Continue to change and dismantle a racist and unequal system. We have to continue to do this together,” she said. “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.”
Beyoncé’s humanitarian efforts have covered a range of issues that are prominent in minority communities across America.
In April, she announced that her BeyGOOD charity would collaborate with Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey and his Start Small campaign to donate $6 million in relief funds to African-American essential workers on the front lines of the coronavirus pandemic.
This past Mother’s Day weekend, the star teamed up with her mother, Tina Knowles Lawson, to launch the the #IDIDMYPART campaign to promote coronavirus testing in minority communities in their hometown of Houston.
Earlier this month, she posted an open letter on her website addressed to Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron, asking him to bring charges against the police officers who fatally shot Breonna Taylor inside her home.
And on Juneteenth the singer, who is fond of surprise releases, dropped her latest song, “Black Parade.” Proceeds from the new single will benefit BeyGOOD’s Black Business Impact Fund to support Black-owned small businesses, according to Beyoncé’s website.