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Updated on Jun 9, 2020. Posted on Jun 7, 2020

Beyoncé Gave A Speech To The Class Of 2020 And Talked About The Racism And Sexism She's Faced

"Your Blackness is beautiful."

On Sunday, YouTube hosted its virtual graduation ceremony, “Dear Class of 2020," featuring “inspirational leaders, celebrities, and YouTube creators to celebrate graduates, their families, and their communities.”

View this video on YouTube

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This comes after the coronavirus pandemic caused schools and universities to complete classes remotely.

Barack and Michelle Obama, BTS, Lady Gaga, and Taylor Swift were just a few of the celebs who appeared — as well as Beyoncé.

Kevin Mazur / Getty Images

“Congratulations to the class of 2020," she began in her 10-minute speech. "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. We’re so proud of you.”

She continued, "Thank you for using your collective voice and letting the world know that Black lives matter."

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She added: "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.”

Bey then opened up about her own struggles, particularly the sexism and racism she encountered in the music industry:

I know how hard it is to step out and bet on yourself. ... The entertainment business is still very sexist. It’s still very male-dominated, and as a woman, I did not see enough female role models given the opportunity to do 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.

"Many of the best creatives and businesspeople, who, although supremely qualified and talented, were turned down over and over as executives at major corporations because they were female or because of racial disparity," she went on.

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"I’ve tried my best to pull down the veil of appeasement to those who may feel uncomfortable with our excellence."

“To all those who feel different — if you’re part of a group that’s called ‘other,’ a group that does not get the chance to be center stage — build your own stage and make them see you,” Beyoncé also said.

"Your queerness is beautiful, your Blackness is beautiful. Your compassion, your understanding, your fight for people who may be different from you, is beautiful."

You can watch Beyoncé's full speech here:

View this video on YouTube

youtube.com

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