Beyoncé’s Homecoming on Netflix Is an Historically Black Experience

Image: Kevin Winter (Getty Images)

Beyoncé. First of her name. King of Music. Snatcher of edges. Creator of Stamina. The untouched.

Greetings Big Sister Freakum Dress, is there anything we can do to make your day better?

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Before we get started, let me share my journey into the Beyhive. I was a fan of Beyoncé and grew up on her music, but never really got the “hype.” I lived my life ignorant to the greatness that was Giselle until her first Super Bowl performance in 2013. My then-best friend was freaking out because I was running late for the party we were supposed to attend. See, Jeremiah was a super fan; so it was understandable why he was pressed like a suit on Easter Sunday. I was taking my time because I didn’t care one way or the other.

We left my apartment, and he started driving at unsafe speeds. At the time, I felt a sense of danger, but now I’m grateful for his reckless driving. When she asked if we were ready, I obviously was not. It was after that performance that I became a Beyliever, and here I am.

Bey consistently shows lack of respect for my sleeping patterns and honestly, I will black-ass deal with this. When Beychella first aired it was at an ungodly hour and if you think my ass watched every hour of it, then you’re absolutely right. The King of Music has now partnered with Netflix to bless us all with 24-hour access to Beychella. Not only do we get the life-changing performance, but we’ve been gifted a look behind the scenes on what it took to bring this masterpiece to life.

On April 14, 2018, Beyoncé became the first black woman to headline Coachella. Yup, she was the first black woman in 19 years. Ain’t that bout a bitch?!

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With this masterpiece, Beyoncé created a safe space for black women and black people alike. She gave us a place where no one felt marginalized. “It was important to me that everyone who has never seen themselves represented on this stage feel like they were on that stage with us,” Beyoncé—a Master Of Inclusivity—said.

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“I pushed myself further than I thought I could,” Beyoncé said of her historic performance. In the documentary, Bey shared that she grew up around HBCU culture. It was her dream to go to an HBCU, but God had other plans. Since Destiny’s Child was her college, Bey decided to gift the world with this show. “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,” stated Bey.

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You can’t help but respect her hustle and talent. She shows you that a woman at her level of greatness still has to humble herself to master her craft. I jumped out of this king-sized bed of mine when Bey said: “people don’t see the sacrifice.” People underestimate the work that one has to put forward to produce anything. It’s not all fun and games. It takes blood, sweat, and tears to present a final product.

Beyoncé did things that were unconventional for a festival show. Bey made sure to let the audience know that it takes a village to bring things to life. Every detail was carefully thought out, every piece of garment was hand-stitched, and her goal in this was to make everyone in the audience feel what she feels. Chills, Beyoncé. That’s what I felt. Chills.

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DNay Baptiste is one of Bey’s main dancers. She was pregnant and couldn’t dance for an entire year before Coachella. She returned just in time for that experience.

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“It is amazing being a part of something bigger than myself,” Baptiste told The Root. She gave birth to a son, and she told The Root she’s excited that in the future, he can see something that his mom was a part of and identify with it. “Something he will see and say my momma did that and I am proud.”

Beyoncé shares this same sentiment. She feels she made something that has made her whole family proud. “I’m so lucky and grateful that I can take all these crazy ideas that heal people and sparks visions to dream big and shows them that it’s possible. If my country ass can do it, then they can do it,” she said in the documentary.

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Homecoming for an HBCU student is a spiritual baptism into black excellence. It’s the Coachella for black people that happens yearly. Each year we head to the MECCA to reunite with those who have made an impact on our lives. Beychella felt like a homecoming for Beyoncé. She said she feels like she worked her whole life for this moment and that the experience felt so good for her.

There is something about the HBCU experience that must be cherished and protected. Many of the people who have shaped our culture and our lives have graduated from these historical institutions. Bey paid homage to the culture and to the experiences that many fought and died for.

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The black gay community can be one that can be divisionary, but Beyoncé is one thing that can always bring us all together. The pettiness, the shade and negativity go out the window when Beyoncé comes into play. She has a way of uniting us and for that we are grateful.

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Being a Beyoncé fan is not for the faint of heart. She’s constantly coming for your edges and raising your blood pressure. Beyoncé constantly inspires us to be more than we can ever imagine. She’s gifted us the courage and knowledge to know that no one can put us in a box and that we’re capable of doing what we put our minds to!

This is the blackest performance that Coachella will probably ever receive. After Beychella, the festival should have packed its bags and gone home because no one but Jesus stanky legging on that stage could top this moment in history.

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Beyoncé, thank you.

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About the author

Corey Townsend

Chief Beyoncé Content Officer @ TheRoot. I aspire to be as steadfast & unmovable as Solange's wig. Former President of Hogwart's Black Student Union.