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Beyoncé's Grammy Acceptance Speech: Lemonade Was Meant to 'Give Voice to Our Pain'

Beyoncé’s first televised Grammy of Sunday night, for “Best Urban Contemporary” album, came just after her stunningly artful, boundary-breaking and nourishing performance (while pregnant with twins).


She had already delivered a powerful visual message, one of powerful women and matriarchal lineage and the importance of uplifting it all to sacred status. But in her speech, she was able to contextualize the meaning of Lemonade and further the message that came from her Grammys performance. In doing so while winning an award in a category that essentially relegates contemporary R&B to the “Urban”—historically, the recording industry’s segregationist catchall term for “Black”—she furthered the impact of her message.

After delivering her thanks, she read from a gold card that matched her dress:

We all experience pain and loss, and often we become inaudible. My intention for the film and album was to create a body of work that would give voice to our pain, our struggles, our darkness and our history. To confront issues that make us uncomfortable. It’s important to me to show images to my children that reflect their beauty, so that they can grow up in a world where they can look in a mirror—first to their own families as well as the news, the Super Bowl, the Olympics, the White House, and the Grammys—and see themselves and have no doubt that they’re beautiful, intelligent, and capable. This is something I want for every child of every race, and I feel it’s vital that we learn from the past and recognize our tendencies to repeat our mistakes.


It was a beautiful artist’s statement to accompany a performance in which she’d done just that—celebrated and honored beautiful black women with the innovation and dignity of someone whose politics emanate from the heart.

Shit, motherhood is good on Beyoncé!

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That line in Formation about the “negro nose with Jackson 5 nostrils” made me, a Korean American, so proud of my flat, non-European nose for the first time.

I know the song was meant for the black American experience specifically, but it really hit home. Especially since so many Koreans get their noses done to look like a Becky.