By: BWST Staff
It’s April 17th.
If you’ve known, this date has been on your calendar for weeks now.
This is the day that Queen Bey, rightful heir to the iron throne, drops her Netflix film ‘Homecoming’ to chronicle her other-worldly, HBCU-inspired performance that transformed Coachella forever as she became the first Black woman ever to headline the famed music festival one year ago.
Beychella, as it was renamed out of necessity, was Beyoncé’s beautifully, unapologetically Black ode to the people, the history and the culture.
In a stunning, non-stop two-hour performance, she reclaimed and reinvented a space so often reserved for white musicians.
“As a Black woman, I often felt like the world wanted me to stay in my little box, and Black women often feel underestimated,” said the Queen in a recording played during her Beychella performance.
“I wanted us to be proud of, not only the show, but the process. Proud of the struggle. Thankful for the beauty that comes with a painful history and rejoice in the pain – rejoice in the imperfections and the wrongs that are so damn right. I wanted everyone to feel thankful for their curves, their honesty, their sass… thankful for their freedom.”
Her documentary, which is – let’s be honest – the biggest thing to happen to Netflix since they realized sending people disks in the mail wasn’t the move, is in and of itself a reclamation of space and opportunity that has for so long been withheld from Black artists.
“I pushed myself further than I thought I could,” Beyoncé says in her documentary, “It was important that I brought our culture to Coachella. There was a four-month period of rehearsals with the band before we started the four months of dance rehearsals.”
In addition to bringing us joy and life anew through this film, Bey also dropped a surprise Homecoming album – sending all 1 hour, 49 minutes of Beychella direct to our iTunes and Spotify accounts in a gift we always needed and didn’t deserve.
In the introduction to Homecoming’s trailer, the voice of mother Maya Angelou echoes over pictures of Beyonce and some of the world’s most brilliant Black performers and dancers preparing for a Coachella show that would be forever etched in history.
“What I really want to do is be a representative of my race; of the human race,” said Angelou, “I have a chance to show how kind we can be – how intelligent and generous we can be. I have a chance to teach and to love and to laugh. I know that when I finish doing what I’m sent here to do I’ll be called home, and I will go home without any fear or trepidation of wondering what’s going to happen.”
“And what advice would you give this generation?” an interviewer asks her.
“Tell the truth. To yourself first. And to the children.”
Homecoming is the truth told in all of its boldness, brilliance and relentlessness.
Watch. Listen. Be blessed.