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Beyoncé Explains The Powerful Roots Of Her Somber Grammy Performance

"I wanted to find real men that have lived, struggled, cried."

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Following her poignant performance of "Precious Lord, Take My Hand" at the Grammys last night, Beyoncé posted a behind-the-scenes look at her preparation for the show to YouTube.

Beyoncé / Via

Interspersed between black and white rehearsal clips are the true stories of the entirely black male choir Beyoncé picked to stand on stage with her. "I wanted to find real men that have lived, have struggled, cried, and have a light and a spirit about them," Beyoncé explained.

The choir members revealed their reasons for participating in the performance, along with anecdotes of their lives as black men in America: stories of harassment from police, physical assaults, exclusion, and alienation fueled by racism.


Beyoncé delved into her own family's stories of racism and strife, from her grandparents marching with Martin Luther King, Jr. to her father being of the first generation to enter all-white schools.

During the performance, Beyoncé's choir does the "hands up, don't shoot" motion, a symbol of the numerous protests against racism and police violence following the shooting of Mike Brown in Ferguson, MO.

Watch the video in full below.

View this video on YouTube