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‘HΘMΣCΘMING’ by Beyoncè

On April 17, I tuned in to Netflix (at 3 a.m. ET sharp) and watched the journey Beyonce’ embarked on to create her historic 2018 Coachella performance. I, unlike many of you, did not watch the livestream last year so “Homecoming” the documentary was a refreshing new treat filled with precious moments of rich culture.

From paying homage to the historic marching bands and dancers at the nation’s historically Black colleges and universities (HBCUs) to demonstrating the resiliency, beauty and sacrifice embedded in the Black experience, Beyoncé’s newly released documentary Homecoming is a testament to the Black culture the unique way that it is celebrated at HBCUs. And did y’all see the costumes?!

I went to Auburn University, a majority school in southeastern Alabama. While there, I got involved in every organization that would allow me to express myself and those like me freely on a predominately white campus. I was the President of the Black Student Union, a lifetime member of the NAACP and I pledged a historically black Greek-letter sorority, AKA. As Black students on campus, we partied hard and created what cultural experiences we could, but nothing beat the experience of traveling just 15 minutes up the highway to Tuskegee University, a historically black university. There was the Soul Inn, the basketball games, the Chicken Coop (I don’t think anyone really ate there), the George Washington Carver museum and a host of Black kids from all over the world who brought a different perspective to what it means to be Black in America. Honestly, it was more diverse than Auburn. Some of the best moments happened during Tuskegee’s Homecoming, which we all prayed never landed on the same weekend as a big AU football game day. My folks, who are Tuskegee Institute (former name) and medical school graduates and are very active alumni, would travel from Birmingham to visit every year. At Homecoming, everyone on campus is dressed to impress, you can get the best fish sandwiches and the band always rocks the halftime show. Bey’s “Homecoming” is very reminiscent of those good college memories.

I have a lot of respect for Bey. She has worked hard over her 22-year career to be the best performer in R&B/Soul and Pop music. And along the way, she has never lost sight of her humble beginnings in Houston, TX. Her art reflects what it’s like to be a southern Black woman, which is what I am. And it’s good to see our uniqueness expressed to the world on such a big platform. Who else other than a Southern Black woman would be the business mogul, mom and wife and have millions of people in America packing hot sauce in their bag and eating at Red Lobster? Tuh! Mad respect! New quote:

“If my country ass can do it, anyone can.”

She even blessed us with a live album, which is almost becoming a lost art form in the days of digital and trap music. My favorite joint on the live album is “Lift Every Voice,” which leads into “Formation.” ✊🏾✊🏾✊🏾👸🏾 This version of the Black National Anthem is now a staple like Whitney Houston’s Star Spangled Banner. Share your favorite tracks or moments in the comment section below.

Follow me on Instagram @costumesandcoffee.

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