Why I'm Extremely Passionate About #Beychella

Chances are (if you don’t live under a rock), you’ve heard of Beyoncé’s highly acclaimed Coachella performance. I must admit, during her first performance, I was asleep because it was at 2 a.m., but you best believe that I set aside two hours of my time the next day to fully take it in. 

Lovingly called “Beychella” by her fans, this performance was historical in more ways than one. Not only was she the first black woman to headline Coachella, but she brought HBCU students, a demographic that is not often represented in the mainstream media, center stage using them as her band and background dancers. No matter your opinion on Beyoncé, I think it’s safe to say that she killed it, and I'm going to explain why.

First of all, the amount of black culture that she put into a music festival that usually isn’t catered to us is astounding. The fact that instead of using professional musicians and background dancers, she brought out talented students from prestigious HBCUs all over the country is amazing. This type of exposure is pretty much unheard of. Many black kids are told not to pursue artistic careers, and as a college student myself, I can’t even imagine how they must have felt performing at a festival as well-known as Coachella. I cannot begin to think of the doors that this has opened for these students. Additionally, throughout the performance, she made a nod to historically black sororities and fraternities, a rich culture that is not seen often in the media. She and her background dancers stepped, and she even hosted a mini “probate” with actual Greeks as her background dancers. Not to mention that she put together a scholarship program for some of those universities. It made me (and everyone I know) so happy to see our culture represented in such a positive light. The cameos by various people in her life were very welcome surprises. I mean, she revived Destiny’s Child so there’s nothing else I literally felt my childhood come back to life. Not to mention Solange’s quick dance cameo (even though Beyoncé dropped her during the second performance, but it was very graceful). 

A lot of people don’t really see Beyoncé as a role model, but I have to disagree. She’s not just a cute face with a good voice. Growing up, there wasn’t a lot of black girl representation (and there still isn’t), but one constant that was always there was Beyoncé. Growing up on her music and black girl power, she gave me no doubt that being black is beautiful and black girls hold so much power. Not to mention her philanthropy and emphasis on feminism and social issues. People may think that it’s just music, but when I think about little black girls watching her performance, I feel comforted in the fact that they can be proud of someone that looks like them, and it’s cool that they’re looking up to the same person that I did. If you haven’t watched her performance, you probably think I’m so crazy for being this passionate about it. I strongly urge you to find it on some deep corner of the internet (like I did), and you’ll see what I mean. 

Photo Credits: 12