Beyoncé’s Coachella Performance was a Flawless Celebration of Feminine Strength

Beyoncé has always represented her Southern roots by making use of marching bands and famous majorette moves from j-set style choreography in the “Single Ladies” video to the heavy band influence in “Formation.” But last night was something different. From the very beginning of her set at Coachella, Beyoncé walked us through the rich history of Blackness and Black culture. The queen paid homage to Nina Simone, Fela Kuti and Ancient Egyptians and Nefertiti, saluted some of Reggae’s classic hits, sang the Black National anthem, and created her own sorority and fraternity (complete with step dancing). In addition to performing her original music, she delivered several twerkable arrangements and mashups of songs from each of her albums (one of which is included hometown jam “Back That Ass Up”) and gave the Coachella stage a taste of HBCU vibes (she even included some African American History in the form of a soundbite from Malcolm X).

So much of the pride, joy, history, and cultural contributions of global Blackness were on display that I’m honestly still processing. But it was truly a fitting performance for the first Black woman to headline Coachella who shared the moment with her sisters; a nostalgic, living room style dance break with Solange and a mini-medley of DC hits with her musical sisters Kelly and Michelle. It’s also worth noting that the surprise reunion of Destiny’s Child during Bey’s performance marks the first time a girl group has performed at the festival.

Last night was a testament to Black joy. It was testament to what we have done, what we can do, and what we will do! It was a testament to the fact that we haven’t just endured – we’ve danced until we couldn’t anymore, we’ve sung our hearts out, we’ve loved on one another immensely, and we’ve innovated like no other.

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