Beyonce surprise-dropped a new song, “Black Parade,” at the tail end of the Juneteenth holiday and heading into what promises to be a tense weekend as supporters of divisive President Donald Trump gather in Tulsa.
Written by Beyonce and co-produced by Derek Dixie, “Black Parade” also features her husband Jay-Z as co-writer along with Dixie (the Emmy-nominated music director of “HOMECOMING: A Film by Beyonce Knowles”), Kaydence, Denisia “”@blu_june” Andrews and Brittany “@chi_coney” Coney for @NOVAWAV, among others.
The track about empowerment and resilience centers on the recent Black Lives Matter protests in the wake of the death of George Floyd at the hands of a Minneapolis police officer. “Rubber bullets bouncin’ off me / Made a picket sign off your picket fence,” Beyonce sings.
The iconic artist has long referenced her roots as a Texan, the state just south of Oklahoma, and once again takes the listener on a trip to the world she knows. “I’m goin’ back to the South … Back where my roots ain’t watered down,” she sings at the top of the track.
Later in the song, she points to pride of the community as the world is awakened to the plight of Black Americans: “We got rhythm / We got pride / We birth kings / We birth tribes.” (Listen to the song below.)
Earlier in the day, Beyonce honored Juneteenth on Instagram, writing: “Happy Juneteenth Weekend! I hope we continue to share joy and celebrate each other, even in the midst of struggle. Please continue to remember our beauty, strength and power.”
She also posted a directory of Black-owned businesses on her website, writing: “Happy Juneteenth. Being Black is your activism. Black excellence is a form of protest. Black joy is your right.” She continued, “Black Parade” benefits BeyGOOD’s Black Business Impact Fund, administered by the National Urban League, to support Black-owned small businesses in need.”