beyonce the gift stream the lion king
Getty Images / Kevin Mazur

In her powerful commencement speech to the Class of 2020 this Sunday, Beyoncé acknowledged the incredible challenges facing graduates at this moment in history.

“Congratulations to the class of 2020. 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,” she began.

Beyoncé used her virtual address to praise young people for “letting the world know that black lives matter.” Watch the full speech below.

Her speech also addressed sexism in the music industry. “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,” she explained before encouraging young men to “lean into your vulnerability and redefine masculinity.”

The virtual graduation was hosted by Barack Obama and Michelle Obama. BTS also delivered their own commencement speech and Ty Dolla $ign, Khalid, Leon Bridges, Cynthia Erivo, Ben Platt, Chris Martin, Camila Cabello, Tove Lo, and Noah Cyrus joined forces to cover U2’s “Beautiful Day.” Watch below.

Weekend Staff Writer

Isabelle is an Australian writer based in Berlin.