Thank You Beychella: 6 Reassuring Realities Every Woman Should Embrace


Whenever you witness a Beyonce concert – whether live or virtually – you will almost certainly GET YOUR LIFE! Her latest Cochella performance – which has now been appropriately renamed as "Beychella" – was no exception.

The iconic Slayonce wowed festival-goers and live streamers alike as the first black woman to ever headline the nearly two-decade run of the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival. Queen Bey reportedly had 11-hour rehearsals leading up to the big event and it definitely showed in the flawless execution that the singer gave during the two hour HBeyCU-inspired performance where all of us pledged BDK with pride.

I wish you could've seen me rushing to my computer to see what was easily one of THE best performances I've ever witnessed…and I've been to A LOT of Beyonce concerts. #Beyhive

Prior to watching the performance, little did I know that I was going to receive a good word at church that morning, followed by another encouraging and uplifting message from the "Queen" herself. May you be inspired by a snippet of what I believe were some of the major life lessons from Beychella.

1. Black girl magic isn't a fairytale, it's a reality.

Getty Images

The mere fact that Beyonce was the first African-American woman to headline Coachella was wonderful enough, but she took it a step further (figuratively speaking) when she played aloud a snippet from Malcolm X:

"The most disrespected woman in America, is the black woman. The most unprotected person in America is the black woman. The most neglected person in America, is the black woman."

In a society where often times white is celebrated and black is condemned, and then on a platform where the audience was primarily white, Beyoncé used the Coachella stage to celebrate every black woman in the world. She put everyone on notice and let everyone know that black women matter; we are smart, we are powerful, we are talented, and we are everything that some people think we are not. We are as valuable as every other human being on this Earth. It was a testament to the fact that when other people underestimate us, God upgrades us.

2. Embrace who you are and where you are.

I used to be so scared of my "thirties" because I did not want to let go of my twenties. Being that I'm the same age as Beyonce and after seeing her do what she did, I'm even more encouraged to accept who I am and where I am at this present moment.

For instance, remember when Beyonce used to do the back bend to "Deja Vu" and when she used to squat all the way down on certain songs like "Get Me Bodied"? This time around, I noticed she didn't execute these dances all the same, but she STILL brought it (performed her tail off). She was basically like, "I'm grown. I've had three children, and I'm not about to bend all the way down and I'm going to use this bench to twerk on." I was here for all of it, because the same is true for me and many of us – I can't do it like I used to…and that's okay.

3. One woman's healing can be a part of another woman's healing.

I think it's pretty obvious that Beyoncé has had some life challenges as it relates to having children, career-related changes (early on), and more recently, her highly publicized marriage. Even if we weren't paying attention to news or the blogs, we could hear it in her songs, we saw it in her videos, and more importantly, we felt it in our hearts because at some point or another we have been where she's been.

Her performance was proof that you can turn your pain into power, and you can bounce back despite what you may have gone through.

There was a moment when she was sitting on one of the bleachers and there were ladies to the left and right side of her laying their heads on one another. For me, it was a reminder that we carry each others' burdens, but we also carry the healing and power that comes with it. That's why Beyoncé can sing a song, I can write a book, or women can recite a speech and touch so many women across the world. It's not because our lives are exactly the same. Instead, it's because we can relate to each other. It is my hope that we can be more open to women and their stories, and allow their experiences to help encourage and inspire us along our respective journeys.

4. You can find love without losing yourself.

In other words, your life doesn't have to end just because you fall in love, get married, or have children. I think we can all admit that Beyonce probably has a lot more help than most of us everyday women. Nevertheless, she has found a way – in between being a global superstar, wife, mother, daughter, sister, humanitarian (amongst other things) – to still live her life.

Yes, she is a wife, but she is also a boss and clearly she still makes time for her loved ones and friends. She is still committed to pursuing her passion and it doesn't look like she's close to giving that up anytime soon.

5. There is room for everyone to shine.

I love the quote that says, "A candle doesn't lose its light by lighting another candle." When you're aware of what God has called you to do and when you know He has created a path specifically for you, then you don't have to cut down another woman and it makes it that much easier to stay in your lane.

A woman who is confident enough with herself is able to acknowledge the confidence and beauty of another.

Beyonce had no problem giving so many different people their time to shine. From the Destiny's Child reunion, Solange's appearance, the Les Twins, her dancers, the choir, her background singers, the guest dancers, her band, the marching band, and everyone in between – she made it so that everyone felt a part of HER show. She knew this was a HUGE moment for her at Coachella, but it was obvious that she wanted so many others to be a part of this special night.

As my dear sister Andromeda (founder of Women by Choice) likes to say, "When women support women, we all win." Beyonce is winning because she genuinely wants her squad and all of those around her to win. Ask yourself, "when is the last time I encouraged or allowed another woman to shine?"

6. Pursue your passions persistently even when life throws you a curve ball.

We can plan all day for stuff, but life has a way of throwing some unexpected detours at us along our journey. However, when the unexpected happens, keep moving forward anyway.

During the show, Beyonce was performing and being the phenomenal superstar that she is, but towards the end, I noticed she started having issues with her wardrobe. Beyonce had given it all she got that her wardrobe was starting to fall off of her. Nevertheless, and in good ol' Beyonce fashion, she kept it moving and didn't miss a beat. She made adjustments, but she didn't let that stop the show. Not to mention the fact that although she planned to perform last year, she embraced the natural and blessed interruption that was her pregnancy. She used that time to dream up and develop what was ultimately one of the greatest, if not THE greatest shows of all time.

Don't allow disruptions to deter you from your destination.

What were some of your favorite moments from Beychella? Feel free to comment below.

*Article originally published on Shonda Brown White

Featured image by Giphy

ACLU By ACLUSponsored

Over the past four years, we grew accustomed to a regular barrage of blatant, segregationist-style racism from the White House. Donald Trump tweeted that “the Squad," four Democratic Congresswomen who are Black, Latinx, and South Asian, should “go back" to the “corrupt" countries they came from; that same year, he called Elizabeth Warren “Pocahontas," mocking her belief that she might be descended from Native American ancestors.

But as outrageous as the racist comments Trump regularly spewed were, the racially unjust governmental actions his administration took and, in the case of COVID-19, didn't take, impacted millions more — especially Black and Brown people.

To begin to heal and move toward real racial justice, we must address not only the harms of the past four years, but also the harms tracing back to this country's origins. Racism has played an active role in the creation of our systems of education, health care, ownership, and employment, and virtually every other facet of life since this nation's founding.

Our history has shown us that it's not enough to take racist policies off the books if we are going to achieve true justice. Those past policies have structured our society and created deeply-rooted patterns and practices that can only be disrupted and reformed with new policies of similar strength and efficacy. In short, a systemic problem requires a systemic solution. To combat systemic racism, we must pursue systemic equality.

What is Systemic Racism?

A system is a collection of elements that are organized for a common purpose. Racism in America is a system that combines economic, political, and social components. That system specifically disempowers and disenfranchises Black people, while maintaining and expanding implicit and explicit advantages for white people, leading to better opportunities in jobs, education, and housing, and discrimination in the criminal legal system. For example, the country's voting systems empower white voters at the expense of voters of color, resulting in an unequal system of governance in which those communities have little voice and representation, even in policies that directly impact them.

Systemic Equality is a Systemic Solution

In the years ahead, the ACLU will pursue administrative and legislative campaigns targeting the Biden-Harris administration and Congress. We will leverage legal advocacy to dismantle systemic barriers, and will work with our affiliates to change policies nearer to the communities most harmed by these legacies. The goal is to build a nation where every person can achieve their highest potential, unhampered by structural and institutional racism.

To begin, in 2021, we believe the Biden administration and Congress should take the following crucial steps to advance systemic equality:

Voting Rights

The administration must issue an executive order creating a Justice Department lead staff position on voting rights violations in every U.S. Attorney office. We are seeing a flood of unlawful restrictions on voting across the country, and at every level of state and local government. This nationwide problem requires nationwide investigatory and enforcement resources. Even if it requires new training and approval protocols, a new voting rights enforcement program with the participation of all 93 U.S. Attorney offices is the best way to help ensure nationwide enforcement of voting rights laws.

These assistant U.S. attorneys should begin by ensuring that every American in the custody of the Bureau of Prisons who is eligible to vote can vote, and monitor the Census and redistricting process to fight the dilution of voting power in communities of color.

We are also calling on Congress to pass the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act to finally create a fair and equal national voting system, the cause for which John Lewis devoted his life.

Student Debt

Black borrowers pay more than other students for the same degrees, and graduate with an average of $7,400 more in debt than their white peers. In the years following graduation, the debt gap more than triples. Nearly half of Black borrowers will default within 12 years. In other words, for Black Americans, the American dream costs more. Last week, Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and Sen. Elizabeth Warren, along with House Reps. Ayanna Pressley, Maxine Waters, and others, called on President Biden to cancel up to $50,000 in federal student loan debt per borrower.

We couldn't agree more. By forgiving $50,000 of student debt, President Biden can unleash pent up economic potential in Black communities, while relieving them of a burden that forestalls so many hopes and dreams. Black women in particular will benefit from this executive action, as they are proportionately the most indebted group of all Americans.

Postal Banking

In both low and high income majority-Black communities, traditional bank branches are 50 percent more likely to close than in white communities. The result is that nearly 50 percent of Black Americans are unbanked or underbanked, and many pay more than $2,000 in fees associated with subprime financial institutions. Over their lifetime, those fees can add up to as much as two years of annual income for the average Black family.

The U.S. Postal Service can and should meet this crisis by providing competitive, low-cost financial services to help advance economic equality. We call on President Biden to appoint new members to the Postal Board of Governors so that the Post Office can do the work of providing essential services to every American.

Fair Housing

Across the country, millions of people are living in communities of concentrated poverty, including 26 percent of all Black children. The Biden administration should again implement the 2015 Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing rule, which required localities that receive federal funds for housing to investigate and address barriers to fair housing and patterns or practices that promote bias. In 1980, the average Black person lived in a neighborhood that was 62 percent Black and 31 percent white. By 2010, the average Black person's neighborhood was 48 percent Black and 34 percent white. Reinstating the Obama-era Fair Housing Rule will combat this ongoing segregation and set us on a path to true integration.

Congress should also pass the American Housing and Economic Mobility Act, or a similar measure, to finally redress the legacy of redlining and break down the walls of segregation once and for all.

Broadband Access

To realize broadband's potential to benefit our democracy and connect us to one another, all people in the United States must have equal access and broadband must be made affordable for the most vulnerable. Yet today, 15 percent of American households with school-age children do not have subscriptions to any form of broadband, including one-quarter of Black households (an additional 23 percent of African Americans are “smartphone-only" internet users, meaning they lack traditional home broadband service but do own a smartphone, which is insufficient to attend class, do homework, or apply for a job). The Biden administration, Federal Communications Commission, and Congress must develop and implement plans to increase funding for broadband to expand universal access.

Enhanced, Refundable Child Tax Credits

The United States faces a crisis of child poverty. Seventeen percent of all American children are impoverished — a rate higher than not just peer nations like Canada and the U.K., but Mexico and Russia as well. Currently, more than 50 percent of Black and Latinx children in the U.S. do not qualify for the full benefit, compared to 23 percent of white children, and nearly one in five Black children do not receive any credit at all.

To combat this crisis, President Biden and Congress should enhance the child tax credit and make it fully refundable. If we enhance the child tax credit, we can cut child poverty by 40 percent and instantly lift over 50 percent of Black children out of poverty.


We cannot repair harms that we have not fully diagnosed. We must commit to a thorough examination of the impact of the legacy of chattel slavery on racial inequality today. In 2021, Congress must pass H.R. 40, which would establish a commission to study reparations and make recommendations for Black Americans.

The Long View

For the past century, the ACLU has fought for racial justice in legislatures and in courts, including through several landmark Supreme Court cases. While the court has not always ruled in favor of racial justice, incremental wins throughout history have helped to chip away at different forms of racism such as school segregation ( Brown v. Board), racial bias in the criminal legal system (Powell v. Alabama, i.e. the Scottsboro Boys), and marriage inequality (Loving v. Virginia). While these landmark victories initiated necessary reforms, they were only a starting point.

Systemic racism continues to pervade the lives of Black people through voter suppression, lack of financial services, housing discrimination, and other areas. More than anything, doing this work has taught the ACLU that we must fight on every front in order to overcome our country's legacies of racism. That is what our Systemic Equality agenda is all about.

In the weeks ahead, we will both expand on our views of why these campaigns are crucial to systemic equality and signal the path this country must take. We will also dive into our work to build organizing, advocacy, and legal power in the South — a region with a unique history of racial oppression and violence alongside a rich history of antiracist organizing and advocacy. We are committed to four principles throughout this campaign: reconciliation, access, prosperity, and empowerment. We hope that our actions can meet our ambition to, as Dr. King said, lead this nation to live out the true meaning of its creed.

What you can do:
Take the pledge: Systemic Equality Agenda
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Featured image by Shutterstock

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