Beyoncé Called on Voters to "Dismantle a Racist and Unequal System"

Emily Dixon
Photo credit: BET Awards 2020 - Getty Images
Photo credit: BET Awards 2020 - Getty Images

From Marie Claire

  • At Sunday's BET Awards, Beyoncé was awarded the Humanitarian Award, for her work through her BeyGOOD charity initiative.

  • In her acceptance speech, she dedicated the award to protestors "marching and fighting for change."

  • Beyoncé also urged voters to "continue to change and dismantle a racist and unequal system," adding, "We have to vote like our life depends on it, because it does."

Beyoncé received the Humanitarian Award at Sunday night's BET Awards, which were held virtually as the coronavirus pandemic continues. She was recognized for her work through her charity initiative, BeyGOOD; most recently, she worked with her mother, Tina Knowles-Lawson, to ensure Black communities in her hometown, Houston, had access to COVID-19 testing.

In her moving acceptance speech, Beyoncé dedicated the award to Black Lives Matter protestors, as the Guardian reports, saying, "Your voices are being heard, and you're proving to our ancestors that their struggles were not in vain."

Beyoncé went on to urge viewers to vote in the ongoing primary elections, saying, "There are people banking on us staying at home during the local elections and primaries happening in states across the country." She continued, "We have to vote like our life depends on it, because it does."

Michelle Obama presented Beyoncé with the Humanitarian Award, applauding her "generosity of spirit and "love for her community," as Entertainment Tonight reports. "You can see it in everything she does, from her music that give a voice to Black joy and Black pain, to her activism that demands justice for Black lives," Obama said.

Read Beyoncé's full BET Awards acceptance speech below:

Thank you so much for this beautiful honor. I want to dedicate this award to all of my brothers out there, all of my sisters out there inspiring me, marching and fighting for change. Your voices are being heard, and you're proving to our ancestors that their struggles were not in vain.

Now we have one more thing we need to do to walk in our true power, and that is to vote. I'm encouraging you to continue to take action. Continue to change and dismantle a racist and unequal system. We have to continue to do this together. Continue to fight for each other and lift each other up, because there are people banking on us staying at home during the local elections and primaries happening in states across the country. We have to vote like our life depends on it, because it does. So please continue to be the change you want to see.

Thank you everyone who took the time to speak in that beautiful presentation, and thank you, BET, for this honor. It means so much to me, especially coming from y’all. I love you deep. God bless you, and good night.

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