Juneteenth, the holiday recognizing the end of slavery in the U.S., was marked by widespread celebrations across the country yesterday—bringing a bright spot of joy in a year that’s left the Black community experiencing more than its fair share of sorrow.
Beyoncé helped make the day a special one by releasing a new song “Black Parade,” on Tidal, Spotify, and other music streaming platforms on Friday night in honor of Juneteenth. The jubilant anthem invites listeners to celebrate the beauty of blackness, and Beyoncé’s powerful voice rings out over an instrumental that is reminiscent of Africa.
“I’m going back to the South, I’m going back where my roots ain’t watered down,” Beyoncé sings, opening the track. At several points on Friday’s release, the singer tells listeners to “Follow my parade.”
Being black, baby that’s the reason why they always mad.
Been past em’, I know that’s the reason why they all big mad and they always have been.
Put us any-damn-where, we gon’ make it look cute
In a note posted on her official website, Beyoncé revealed that the proceeds of “Black Parade” will be used to benefit black-owned small businesses in need—an especially worthy cause since such businesses have been disproportionately shuttered as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Queen Bey also used her platform to uplift a directory of over 150 black businesses, among them companies that sell everything from handmade candles to visual art and even beauty products like sunscreen.
“Being Black is your activism. Black excellence is a form of protest. Black joy is your right,” Beyoncé added on her website.