Beyoncé was honoured at the 20th annual BET Awards on Sunday night with the Humanitarian Award in honour of her BeyGOOD initiative. In her acceptance speech, she spoke to her fellow Black Americans when she encouraged them to keep up the work to “change and dismantle a racist an unequal system.”
Before Beyoncé spoke, Michelle Obama honoured her as someone who is “always turning up, looking out, and making us all a little bit better, a little more fierce.” She was also honoured in a tribute video by her mother, Tina Lawson, Tyler Perry, Ivy McGregor (her director of social responsibility), Trayvon Martin’s mother, Sybrina Fulton, and more.
Here is her full speech:
“Thank you so much for this beautiful honour. 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 an 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 honour. It means so much to me, especially comin’ from ya’ll. I love you, D. God Bless you, and good night.”