YouTube Virtual Graduation Ceremony 2020 called “Dear Class Of 2020” took place on July 7, 2020. The ceremony was headlined by former President Of The United States, Barack Obama, and First Lady Michelle Obama and with commencement speeches from Beyonce, BTS, Lady Gaga, Alicia Keys, Taylor Swift, Billie Eilish, former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, former Secretary of Defense Robert M. Gates, Alphabet and Google CEO Sundar Pichai among other celebs.
Beyoncé delivered powerful commencement speech by speaking up on Black Lives Matter, sexism in the entertainment industry, and gave hope to everyone who has ever dreamt to achieve their goals.
On Black Lives Matter:
“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, we’re so proud of you,” she said. “Thank you for using your collective voice and letting the worlds know that Black lives matter. 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.”
On Sexism in the 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.”
Giving Opportunities To Underdogs:
“Many of the best creatives and business people, 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,” Beyonce said. “And I’ve been very proud to provide them with a place at my table. One of the main purposes of my art for many years has been dedicated to showing the beauty of Black people to the world, our history, our profundity and the value of Black lives. I’ve tried my best to pull down the veil of appeasement to those who may feel uncomfortable with our excellence,” she said.
A Message To The Graduates:
“To the young women, our future leaders, know that you’re about to make the world turn. I see you. You are everything the world needs. Make those power moves. Be excellent. And to the young kings, lean into your vulnerability and redefine masculinity. Lead with heart. There are so many different ways to be brilliant. I believe you and every human being is born with a masterful gift. Don’t let the world make you feel that you have to look a certain way to be brilliant. And no you don’t have to speak a certain way to be brilliant. But you do have to spread your gift around the planet in a way that is authentically you.
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. Your queerness is beautiful, your blackness is beautiful. Your compassion, your understanding, your fight for people who may be different from you, is beautiful. I hope you continue to go into the world and show them that you will never stop being yourself. That it’s your time now, make them see you.”