When I chose Tennessee State University, it was in part because it reminded me so much of my mother’s beloved Winston-Salem State University. If I was going to be away from home, I wanted it to feel like home.
There’s something sacred about the Black college experience that roots us in our communities and history. Our time there, immersing ourselves in the richness of who we are, helps develop us into leaders, thinkers and change agents.
We create families out of friendships and learn so much about ourselves while on the yard. Consequently, it makes sense that Bey would use the historically-Black homecoming experience to reintroduce herself and share what she’s learned on her path of self-discovery.
In a world where we are encouraged to overshare, Beyoncé’s curated privacy has always been admired and envied. Choosing the film to also document her recovery journey from a difficult pregnancy and delivery, Beyoncé’s Homecoming was also a coming home to herself—to the woman she’s now become.
Black women aren’t superhuman—not even Beyoncé
“I feel like I’m just a new woman in a new chapter of my life,” she says in the documentary, “and I’m not even trying to be who I was. It’s just so beautiful.”
But as amazing as her physical recovery and festival performance were, they were not without great sacrifice. Consistent expectations are placed on Black women to do and be everything—expectations that the mother of three admitted she bought into and felt as she tried to reconnect her body with herself. To do it all, Beyoncé pushed her body to its limits and it is something she tells us she’ll never do again. Black women aren’t superhuman—not even Beyoncé. If anybody could tell that truth, it would be her.
But greatness and sacrifice—what it took to bring Beychella to life—are the calling cards of Blackness and especially Black womanhood. It is the cost of knowing that you are powerful and then living out that power.
That is the gift Beyoncé is to us. She is King Bey because she slays everything. But our fearless leader constantly affirms our own greatness. Inspired by our past, present and future, Beyoncé reminds us that what is in her is in all of us.
Blackness, she reminds us, has boundless potential. We can be great because we are already great. We stand in awe at what she’s able to envision and how hard she works to see it materialize. But in every step of the way, Bey is quick to let us know that when we are marveling at her, we are marveling at ourselves—at the creativity and genius of Black people.
That is the greatest lesson of Homecoming. Black people are absolutely everything and that reality should inspire and compel us to live up to it. We can be whatever we want to be. Most of us didn’t stay up late or wake up early simply to watch Bey do her thing. We did it because we knew we’d be inspired.
Beyoncé connects with the part of us that longs to move without doubt and live without fear. Recognizing it as her purpose, she knows that she’s here to inspire healing, spark vision and we are better because of it. The power of greatness is that it is contagious. Because we have been inspired, we will dream bigger. We will create the art we need to motivate and transform us. And we will do it for the ones who came before us, the ones who are here now and the generations soon to come. There really is no other way. In every blessed offering, Beyoncé reminds of us that.
We live in a world that hates us. There is no way around that. While being Black is beautiful, being Black is also dangerous and many of us do not survive. The greatest living entertainer intentionally created a moment full of safety and affirmation to remind us that when this world does its best to defeat us and make us doubt the greatness of who we are, we know the truth.
We are powerful beyond measure. And when we forget that and need to be reminded, we can always come home.Share :