Beyoncé never thought twice about catering to the mostly White audience at Coachella. Instead, she made it a point to bring festivalgoers and viewers into her world.
However, Beyoncé’s mother, Tina Lawson, feared that the mostly-White audience at Coachella would not understand the Black culture that she presented.
During the nearly two-hour set, Beyoncé’s entire set was centered around Black pride and culture.
The set was inspired by HBCU culture of bands, fraternities, and step teams; she sang the Negro national anthem, “Lift Every Voice and Sing”; she played an excerpt from Malcolm X’s “Who Taught You to Hate Yourself?”; and she paid tribute to Nina Simone as two praise dancers performed while “Lilac Wine” played.
In an Instagram post, Lawson wrote:
“I told Beyonce that i was afraid that the predominately white audience at Coachella would be confused by all of the black culture and Black college culture because it was something that they might not get. Her brave response to me made me feel a-bit selfish and ashamed. She said i have worked very hard to get to the point where i have a true voice and At this point in my life and my career i have a responsibility to do whats best for the world and not what is most popular “ She said that her hope is that after the show young people would research this culture and see how cool it is, and young people black and white would listen to ‘LIFT EVERY VOICE AND SING’ and see how amazing the words are for us all and bridge the gap. She also hopes that it will encourage young kids to enroll in our amazing HIstorically Black Colleges and Universities . I stand corrected.”
Beyoncé’s bold performance was bigger than anything that has happened at Coachella. At this point, it will be remembered as a pinnacle moment in American history.