A celebration of Black power

Beyoncé’s newest song reminds listeners to be proud of who they are

Jessica Simms, Managing Editor

Beyoncé released her latest song, “Black Parade,” as a way to celebrate Juneteenth, a holiday that commemorates the emancipation of slaves in the United States on June 19, 1865.

The track, which is produced by Derek Dixie and co-written by Beyoncé’s husband, Jay-Z, honors Black heritage and empowerment during the ongoing movement for racial justice.

Beyoncé released ‘Black Parade’ in honor of Juneteenth. (Screenshot from Apple Music)

“I hope we continue to share joy and celebrate each other, even in the midst of struggle,” Beyoncé wrote on Instagram on June 19. “Please continue to remember our beauty, strength and power.”

Lyrically, “Black Parade” connects with Beyoncé’s southern roots and African ancestry, while also critiquing society for its history of racism. The song opens up with Beyoncé rapping, “I’m goin’ back to the South/I’m goin’ back, back, back/Where my roots ain’t watered down.”

While this lyric is a reference to her Texan roots, the term “watered down” can also symbolize Beyoncé’s experiences with whitewashing during her career. With Beyoncé’s wax figure in Madame Tussauds in New York originally appearing too light-skinned and L’Oreal lightening her skin in press ads, Beyoncé could be referring to these instances in her lyrics, showcasing her desire to go back to her “roots” to be her authentic self.

Despite these hardships, Beyoncé uses this song to celebrate her culture and race by referencing her African heritage. She repeats the words “motherland drip on me” and “melanin, melanin, my drip is skin deep.” She even says “I can’t forget my history,” which prompts her to address the issue of ongoing racism.

Lyrics such as “rubber bullets bouncin’ off me/Made a picket sign off your picket fence” juxtapose the idea of the white American dream being associated with suburban living and the ongoing marches and protests that are aiming to address police brutality many Black people experience.

Beyoncé also goes on and says “being Black, maybe that’s the reason why/They always mad,” which is her way of expressing that some people refuse to accept that skin color gives a person privilege or immediately gives them disadvantages in life.

“Black Parade” powerfully addresses political and social justice issues while firmly stating that Black lives matter. By unapologetically being herself, Beyoncé is able to connect her own experiences of being a Black American woman and how she is proud to be who she is. She even says in the song, “being Black baby, that’s the reason they always mad/Been past’em, I know that’s why they all big mad.”

‘Black Parade’ powerfully addresses political and social justice issues while firmly stating that Black lives matter.

— Jessica Simms

Shortly before releasing “Black Parade,” Beyoncé launched the Black Parade Route, which is an online directory of Black-owned businesses. This initiative will directly benefit the Black Business Impact Fund, which supports small Black-owned businesses in need, through her BeyGOOD Foundation.

“Being Black is your activism,” Beyoncé wrote on her website, beyonce.com. “Black excellence is a form of protest. Black joy is your right.”

Not only did Beyoncé share the message that Black lives matter, forever and always, in a beautiful and powerful manner, she also took it a step further by donating all of the song’s proceeds to benefit the Black community.

Proceeds from the song will support Black-owned businesses, as well.

You can do your part by standing by the message of “Black Parade” and streaming this meaningful song. Just by clicking and listening, you can make a small, yet impactful difference.

5/5 stars