Yesterday was the 155th Juneteenth and Beyoncé gathered up the spirit of the ancestors—plus a hefty dose of Southern dipped swag—for a new song, “Black Parade.”
Released on June 19, the 5-minute track is an ode to everything Blackity, Black, Black as she takes listeners on a celebratory joyride from the past to the present.
“I’m going back to the south/I’m going back, back, back, back/Where my roots ain’t watered down,” she opens before name-checking her ancestral ties to the continent: “Ankh charm on gold chains, with my Oshun energy… Drip all on me, Ankara Dashiki print.”
But Beyoncé’s “Black Parade” doesn’t stay in the past for long. The song swifts quickly to current events when she sings “Rubber bullets bouncing off me/Made a picket sign off your picket fence/take it was a warning.”
The Homecoming director has been outspoken about racial inequalities and has directed fans to several social justice organizations in support of getting justice for George Floyd Breonna Taylor. Now with the release of “Black Parade,” proceeds will help Black entrepreneurs who have been struggling since the COVID-19 pandemic.
“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,” the 24-time Grammy winner writes on her Instagram.
Through her site, the artist and activist directs the Beehive to the “Black Parade Route”—a directory of Black-owned entrepreneurs and businesses curated by longtime stylist Zerina Akers, who founded the Black business hub Black Owned Everything.
“Black Parade” benefits BeyGOOD’s Black Business Impact Fund, administered by the National Urban League, to support Black-owned small businesses in need,” she states on beyonce.com.
From arts and lifestyle companies to fashion and beauty brands, the list includes over 150 businesses including Black Girl Sunscreen, Cushine, The Spice Suite, New Beacon Books and more.
Said Beyoncé, “Being Black is your activism. Black excellence is a form of protest. Black joy is your right.”