LOS ANGELES – Keeping up with her tradition of releasing new music without warning, Beyonce dropped a surprise single called Black Parade last Friday. The date, June 19, also known as Juneteenth, commemorates the emancipation of the last enslaved African Americans in the United States in 1865.
Beyonce, a native of Houston, Texas, paid homage to her Black roots in the song. The song opens with the lyrics “I’m going back to the South, I’m going back where my roots ain’t watered down.”
According to USA Today, all proceeds from the song will go to supporting black-owned small businesses, listed in alphabetical order on the singer’s website.
The website states: “Being Black is your activism. Black excellence is a form of protest. Black Parade benefits BeyGOOD’s Black Business Impact Fund, administered by the National Urban League to support Black-owned small businesses in need.”
The release of the almost five-minute-long song was announced on the pop sensation’s Instagram page. The caption for her post reads: “Happy Juneteenth Weekend! I hope we continue to share joy and celebrate each other, even in the midst of struggle. Please continue to remember our beauty, strength and power.”
The post received more than four million likes, with Instagram itself commenting “Thank you,” followed by a black heart emoji.
Beyonce, 38, is well known for her support of the Black community. In an open letter addressed to the attorney general of Kentucky, Daniel Cameron, on June 14, she demanded justice for the murder of Black civilian Breonna Taylor, who was shot in her own apartment by police who entered with a no-knock warrant.
She urged Cameron to bring justice for Taylor and to “demonstrate the value of a Black woman’s life”.
Black Parade has been released on all major music streaming platforms, including Spotify, YouTube and Apple Music.