Beyoncé slayed MTV’s Video Music Awards. The singer brought home eight of the 11 awards she was nominated for, all for songs from her visual LP Lemonade. Bey didn’t just attend the VMAs and sweep up, she used her time there to raise awareness for the Black Lives Matter movement — and it was huge.
When Beyoncé arrived on the white carpet, she wasn’t just with her adorable daughter Blue Ivy (who should be on every best dressed list after wearing that amazing princess outfit). Bey brought a bunch of her Lemonade cast members and posed with Wanda Johnson, Gwen Carr, Sybrina Fulton, and Lesley McSpadden-Head, the mothers of Oscar Grant, Eric Garner, Trayvon Martin and Michael Brown respectively.
— Joi-Marie (@dcfab) August 28, 2016
Beyoncé also gifted us with a wild performance which included lots of dancing and elaborate costumes. Basically, it was everything we’d expect from the singer, but the true shining moment was when she used her song “Pray You Catch Me” as a tribute to Martin.
— Video Music Awards (@vmas) August 29, 2016
During “Pray You Catch Me,” Bey stood in front of a hooded man — which has become a famous image after Martin was shot by police while he was wearing a hoodie. Beyoncé’s dancers, dressed in all white, fell to the floor one by one in a flash of red light while gunshots sounded. This is a strong reference to gun violence and police brutality. Beyonce is totally unafraid to make a statement.
The performance wasn’t the only time Bey’s spoken out about racial injustice. Her music video for “Formation,” which pulled in awards for Best Pop Video, Best Choreography, Best Direction, Best Editing and Best Cinematography, references Brown’s shooting.
Check out the music video below:
Bey proves that celebrities really can use their fame to do good and promote social change. In addition to raising awareness, Bey and Jay Z have also financially supported the Black Lives Matter movement. The couple reportedly donated bail money to Black Lives Matter protesters.