If Beyoncé can forego an opportunity to work with a world-renowned photographer to instead hire a 23-year-old to become the first black photographer to shoot a Vogue cover then, of course, she would reportedly decline Reebok’s offer when there was no diversity in the room.
Reebok missed the mark when pitching to Beyoncé, but to the people who have been fans of her work for years, we know there’s one additional thing Queen Bey does best, and that’s hiring Black women. Throughout the years we’ve watched the superstar be intentional with her art and her expression by incorporating other Black women to curate her masterpieces.
Ahead, check out just a few of the receipts for the times Beyoncé gave another Black woman a seat at the table:
The Biggest Star In The World Right Now Has A Black Publicist
When Fashion Nova publicist, Ernest Duke rocked the famous blue jacket with the words, “Beyoncé’s Publicist is Black” on it, he presented a loud statement on the lack of diversity in PR and how often Black celebrities leave their Black publicists behind once they make the A-list. Yvette Noel-Schure has worked with Beyoncé since her Destiny’s Child days as a publicist for Sony Music, and once she left the label, Beyoncé followed her as a client. Now Noel-Schure is head of publicity at Parkwood Entertainment. The public relations industry is notorious for having a diversity problem. According to PR Week, “Like entertainment, tech, and many other industries, the communications sector has a diversity problem, with too few people of color—and far too few diverse individuals in high-ranking positions.” On red carpets numerous A-list celebrities have a white publicist in tow, but not Queen Bey.
She Gave Black Women Musicians A Platform In Her All-Female Band
It was the summer of 2006 when auditions for an all-female band in time for Beyoncé’s 2nd album debut. She stunned the entertainment industry with a 10-piece all female band with background singers majority compromised with Black women. Known as the Suga Mamas, concert-goers have been able to witness their magic since The Beyoncé Experience Tour, and although band members have changed throughout the years, the concept remains the same. “I had an idea to have a lot of women on stage playing instruments, so hopefully young girls can see that, and it inspires them to play instruments,” Beyoncé said to a young fan during a visit to National University Hospital (Singapore) in 2009. Former band members have since gone on to tour with other artists or become recording artists of their own.
She Takes Direction F
When it comes to visual storytelling, Beyoncé’s go-to woman is Melina Matsoukas. The award-winning music video director had worked on 9 of Beyoncé’s videos before taking on the woman empowered Formation video which caused praise and controversy. Matsoukas has directed videos Pretty Hurts, Upgrade U, Diva, Sweet Dreams and Why Don’t You Love Me. “I feel safe working with her and expressing or revealing things about myself that I wouldn’t with any other
She Shutdown Coachella With The Help Of Black Women
As the first Black woman to headline Coachella, Beyoncé hired Black women to help make her iconic performance one we’ll never…ever…forget.
A Black Woman Captures Her Best Moments
We live for new photo moments on Beyoncé’s well-curated Instagram feed or website and this summer a Black woman made glimpses of the superstar even better. Raven B. Varona manifested her new job when she tweeted in 2014, “I wish I was shooting OTR. Over here mentally creating shots in my head. : ( I would of killed.” Four years later, Varona was the official tour photographer for On The Run II with her photos printed in global newspapers, shared online and featured on the Queen’s Instagram and website. Recently Varona received an iHeartRadio nomination for Best Tour Photographer for her work with star and her husband.
She Shared Her Vulnerability Through This Poet’s Words
Beyoncé masterfully threads together her visual album Lemonade with spoken words written by Warsan Shire, a Somali-British laureate. Shire’s work “For Women Who Are Difficult to Love,” “The Unbearable Weight of Staying (the End of the Relationship)” and “Nail Technician as Palm Reader” was featured in Lemonade, but Shire was also hired to write a poem for Beyoncé’s pregnancy announcement titled “I Have Three Hearts.”