On Friday, the Grammy winner, 38, surprised the Beyhive with a new single titled "Black Parade," an empowering track that draws on current events while celebrating Black excellence. Lyrics for the song — co-written with husband JAY-Z and other songwriters — praise the legacy of ancestors and chart a march toward an uplifting future.
"We got rhythm, we got pride/ We birth kings, we birth tribes/ Holy river, holy tongue/ Speak the glory, feel the love," the Houston, Texas, native sings. "I can't forget my history, it's her story."
Elsewhere in the song, Beyoncé references the ongoing Black Lives Matter protests ("Rubber bullets bouncin' off me/ Made a picket sign off your picket fence"), the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak ("Put us any-damn-where, we gon' make it look cute/ Pandemic fly on the runway, in my hazmat") — as well as the Beyhive ("Hear 'em swarmin', right? / Bees is known to bite").
Not only did Beyoncé drop new music, but she also kicked off an initiative to bolster Black-owned businesses with the song release.
"Happy Juneteenth. Being Black is your activism. Black excellence is a form of protest. Black joy is your right," read a message on her website. "'Black Parade' benefits BeyGOOD's Black Business Impact Fund, administered by the National Urban League, to support Black-owned small businesses in need."
Beyoncé's website also added a directory of businesses for fans to patronize, ranging from areas of fashion and beauty to design and wellness.
Happy Juneteenth Weekend! I hope we continue to share joy and celebrate each other, even in the midst of struggle. Please continue to remember our beauty, strength and power. _ “BLACK PARADE” celebrates you, your voice and your joy and will benefit Black-owned small businesses. Click the link in my bio to learn more.
A post shared by Beyoncé (@beyonce) on Jun 19, 2020 at 6:47pm PDT
Sharing the song on Instagram, Beyoncé reminded fans to stay proud of themselves, even during difficult current events. "Happy Juneteenth Weekend!" the mother of three wrote. "I hope we continue to share joy and celebrate each other, even in the midst of struggle. Please continue to remember our beauty, strength and power."
"We know there is a long road ahead," Beyoncé wrote above an aerial photo of enormous crowds of protestors marching in the streets of Minneapolis, where Floyd's fatal encounter with police on May 25 was caught on-camera.
Kevin Winter/PW18/Getty Images for Parkwood Entertainment Beyoncé
The singer called on her fans to "remain aligned and focused in our call for real justice" as the world moves forward in the fight for change.
Beyoncé also recently shared a motivational speech for 2020 graduates. As part of YouTube’s “Dear Class of 2020” event, the performer thanked listeners for "using your collective voice and letting the world know that Black lives matter."
"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 said in the clip. "We’re so proud of you."
To help combat systemic racism, consider learning from or donating to these organizations:
Campaign Zero (joincampaignzero.org) which works to end police brutality in America through research-proven strategies.
ColorofChange.org works to make the government more responsive to racial disparities.
National Cares Mentoring Movement (caresmentoring.org) provides social and academic support to help black youth succeed in college and beyond.