Barack and Michelle Obama hosted their virtual graduation ceremony on YouTube today, titled “Dear Class of 2020” and it featured numerous speakers, performers, and guests.
Beyonce delivered a moving speech supporting protesters and addressing music industry sexism at Barack and Michelle Obama’s virtual graduation ceremony.
“Thank you for using your collective voice and letting the worlds know that black lives matter,” Beyonce described. “The killings of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor and so many others have left us all broken. It has left the entire country searching for answers. We’ve seen that our collective hearts, when put to positive action, could start the wheels of change. Real change has started with you, this new generation of high school and college graduates who we celebrate today.”
Continuing on, she addressed sexism in the music industry.
“The entertainment business is still very sexist,” she said. “It’s still very male-dominated and as a woman, I did not see enough female role models given the opportunity to what I knew I had to do. To run my label and management company, to direct my films and produce my tours, that meant ownership—owning my masters, owning my art, owning my future and writing my own story. 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. Then I had to invite the best there was to have a seat. That meant hiring women, men outsiders, underdogs, people that were overlook and waiting to be seen.”
Watch Beyonce’s commencement speech below and head here for the full ceremony.