Beyoncé's 'Homecoming' Film Is A Powerful Reminder Of Why Home Is So Important
The documentary takes us back to her powerful and historical Coachella performance.
Beyonce’ makes me feel good. She makes me feel strong and powerful. I listen to her and I feel like the world is mine to take. She has this way of making us all feel confident that is difficult to explain. But what I do know is when she stands on stage, I feel proud to be a Black woman.
Like what you're reading?
Get more in your inbox.
On April 17, I tuned in on Netflix with the rest of the world and watched the journey that Beyonce’ embarked on to create the Coachella performance that resonated with so many of us. Much like our history as Black Americans, it took endurance and sacrifice to create the performance that resulted in something so beautiful and powerful — something that continues to resonate with us over a year later. Watching this woman create a performance so full of intention and rich in history at one of the whitest and most exclusive music festivals made me feel proud and seen.
As a product of an Historically Black College and often being questioned by white people about the validity of that experience, I felt so much pride in hearing the most successful Black woman in entertainment today say, “I always dreamed of going to an HBCU.” It was powerful to watch her put on so fiercely for Black music and Black culture, showing the world that this is ours and not something you can wear and take off as you please.
The performance, while it might have been entertaining and often times very confusing for white folks, was something much deeper for us, something that connects to us on a spiritual level. And no matter how hard you try, there is something about Black culture that you can’t penetrate. Beyonce’ could have just thrown a flower crown on her head, as she said, and it still would have been an amazing performance. But she decided to create a feeling and experience that could show the beauty of our culture to those ignorant and ill-formed, becoming a unifier for us. She decided to look back into her past, a past that many of us share and connect to. Seeing hundreds of beautiful brown faces standing behind her in power and joy was a form of catharsis, especially during a time where our lives and humanity is often taken for granted. I felt seen and, once again, felt the power of what it means to see yourself reflected in art and culture.
In the literal sense Homecoming is a performance of a lifetime: the production, the sound and lights. The choreography and musicality of the dancers is amazing and awe-inspiring. But for Black people, whether you attended an HBCU or not, Homecoming invokes a kind of spiritual journey for us. The moment Beyonce’ strutted down that runway, she drew near to Black people and whispered to us with her slight smirk, “This is for us and no one else.”
From the singing of the Black National Anthem to swag surfing on stage, the performance held Black people close and reminded us that no matter where we are in the world, there is something that connects Black folk and we can always find home in each other. We always find a way to see each other, stand out and stand together even in the whitest of spaces.
Utilizing the theme of Homecoming is an experience that is so important amongst Black culture and HBCU history, no matter what university you attended. For one day, homecoming at many colleges brings family and friends back together in unity and oneness. Homecoming is about Black pride and black joy. Homecoming is also a reminder for us that no matter what home is, it is always there for us. And if Beyoncé’s “country ass” can celebrate home, so can all the rest of us.