The BET Awards happened this Sunday, and one of the biggest moments of the night was Beyoncé receiving the prestigious Humanitarian Award, in recognition of her work through her BeyGOOD initiative.
Former first lady Michelle Obama presented the honor to her, and praised Queen B for her passion, accomplishments, and activism. “No matter how big the stages get, I know my girl isn’t satisfied unless she’s sharing all that shine she has with the next generation,” she said. “She’s always turning up, looking out, and making us all a little bigger, better, a little more fierce. And she’s doing it all while staying devoted to her children and the loved ones she holds dear. So to my girl, I just want to say, you inspire me. You inspire all of us.”
Beyonce’s acceptance speech acknowledged those who have been protesting against police brutality and racial inequality.
“I want to dedicate this award to all of my brothers out there, all of my sisters out there inspiring me—marching and fighting for change. Your voices are being heard, and you’re proving to our ancestors that their struggles were not in vain,” she said.
“I’m encouraging you to continue to take action. Continue to change and dismantle a racist and unequal system. We have to continue to do this together,” she said. “Continue to fight for each other and lift each other up, because there are people banking on us staying at home during the local elections and primaries happening in states across the country. We have to vote like our life depends on it, because it does.”
The BeyGOOD initiative has worked to donate $6 million in relief funds to Black essential workers on the front lines of the coronavirus pandemic as well as campaigns to promote coronavirus testing in minority communities in her hometown of Houston.
Earlier this month, Bey also posted an open letter on her website addressed to Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron, asking him to bring charges against Sgt. Jonathan Mattingly, Det. Myles Cosgrove, and Det. Brett Hankison–the three police officers who fatally shot Breonna Taylor.
Her latest surprise single, “Black Parade” was released on Juneteenth, and all proceeds from it will benefit BeyGOOD’s Black Business Impact Fund to support Black-owned small businesses, according to Beyoncé’s website.
Watch the speech below.