Former first lady Michell Obama appeared on the 2020 BET Awards, Sunday, to honor her longtime friend Beyoncé. Obama presented Beyoncé with the Humanitarian Award for her work in social justice.
“Ever since she was a little girl in Houston, Beyoncé Knowles Carter has been lighting up the stages and gracing the world with her talent with her generosity of spirit, and with her love for her community,” said Obama. “You inspire me. You inspire all of us.”
While accepting the award, Beyoncé thanked everyone involved in the current calls for an end to systemic racism. “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,” said Beyoncé. “Your voices are being heard, and you are proving to our ancestors that their struggles were not in vain.”
The upcoming Fall elections were also on Beyoncé’s mind during the acceptance. She implored that viewers vote in order to enact the changes that are spurring the current protests.
“I'm encouraging you to continue to take action, continue to change and dismantle a racist and unequal system,” said Beyoncé. “We have to vote like our life depends on it, because it does.”
Immediately following her acceptance speech, a promo aired for her upcoming visual album, Black is King. It will be a celebration of Black excellence, based on the music from the film The Lion King: The Gift. The special is being released July 31st on Disney+.