Beyoncé turned popular California music festival Coachella into “Beychella” for her highly anticipated 2018 set. The global pop star became the first black woman to headline the festival in Coachella’s 19 year history when she took the stage, a performance she postponed with the annoucement of her 2017 pregnancy with twins Sir and Rumi.
“Thank you Coachella for allowing me to be the first black woman to headline…ain’t that ’bout a bit*h” Beyoncé said to the excited audience.
Of course a Beyoncé show always entertains yet the Coachella set was empowering, nostalgic and legendary for several reasons. Many are singing Beyoncé’s praises naming her one of the best musicians to ever take the stage if not the the GOAT (greatest of all time). Her performance began with the melodic recital of Lift Every Voice And Sing, also known as the “Black national anthem” and from then continued to dazzle the audience in the crowd and watching via livestream with a show paying homage to Black culture.
Beyoncé included her most popular songs from the past and present. She reunited with her Destiny Child groupmates, danced with her sister Solange and even invited husband Jay Z. Throughout four costume and even nail changes Queen Bey slayed the stage, as expected. What wasnt expected: a full on tribute to Historically Black College and University or HBCU culture.
Featuring a marching band, majorette inspired dance routines, a super dope baton twirler Beyoncé brought some HBCU vibes to the Coachella Stage. Beyoncé also included the Swag Surf , a classic moment during HBCU events and introduced her “fraternity” BAK and essentially staged a probate featuring stepping in homage to Black Greek Letter Organizations, a key factor of HBCU culture. Many of her marching band, majorettes and stepping partners themselves graduated from HBCUs and pledged BGLO’s.
Beyoncé is taking her HBCU celebration further with the announcement of her latest Homecoming Scholars Award Program. Students at Tuskegee University, Xavier University, Wilberforce University and Bethune Cookman University, all HBCUS, will all be eligible to receive scholarship funds from the BeyGOOD Foundation.
“We salute the rich legacy of Historically Black Colleges and Universities: says Ivy McGregor, Director of Philanthropy and Corporate Relations at Parkwood Entertainment. He continues, “We honor all institutions of higher learning for maintianing culture and creating environments for optimal learning which expands dreams and the seas of possibilities for students.”
One student from each HBCU will be rewarded with $25,000 for the 2018-2019 academic year. Unlike the 2017 Formation Scholars which recognized young women, the Homecoming scholarship is applicable for all qualifying students regardless of gender. Applicants must maintain a 3.5 GPA and disciplines recognized include literature, creative arts, communications, African-American studies, science, education, business, social science, computer science and engineering. Winners will be announced this summer.