On Tuesday, July 5th, a man by the name of Alton Sterling was shot point blank by two police officers in front of a convenience store, and the world watched through the lens of a passerby in a car, who recorded the entire encounter.
Unfortunately, this was only the beginning of a series of events which have brought the country to its knees. Not twenty-four hours after the fact, Philandro Castile was shot dead in the driver’s seat of his car, his girlfriend Diamond Reynolds the passenger, and her four-year-old-daughter in the back, watching the whole tragedy unfold. On Thursday, protestors gathered in Dallas to call for humanity, equality, and basic civil rights, and officers in blue stood stoic nearby as watchful protectors when a lone gunman with a sniper rifle shot down five officers and injured seven more. It is continuously apparent that this country still has yet to move past the archaic concept of division by skin color.
In response to these tumultuous times, Beyoncé, who has an unprecedented amount of power and influence due to her profession, has used her status as a platform to call for action from the side of the people. On her website, under the title of “Freedom,” after her final song from her album “Lemonade,” there is a statement written in bold white letters against a black background which demands for the end of violence against marginalized peoples, for the sake of the next generations to come. It ends with links to contact “politicians and legislators” in one’s area—giving the people a direct opportunity to have their voices be heard.
Beyoncé’s statement was not expected, but wholly necessary. Amongst the sorrow, loss, and hopelessness, many people have expressed through social media how utterly helpless they have felt in the face of such tragedies. Communities have felt heavier due to the weight of the past week’s events. Now, a citizen of the society which has suffered so greatly over the course of four days has given the masses the encouragement and the opening to start the journey to change. And it is only beginning, because the real change for the better has yet to be brought about.