Today, I am reviewing the documentary Homecoming by Beyoncé. A few weeks ago, Netflix released the trailer for Homecoming by Beyoncé. Last year, Beyoncé performed one of the most iconic shows during Coachella. Her documentary film Homecoming is an in-depth look into this iconic performance. Definitely read further if you want to know how instead of pulling up her flowercrown, Beyoncé pulled up her fist and paid homage to HBCu’s, Black culture AND Black women.
Homecoming by Beyoncé
Homecoming by Beyoncé takes us backstage to Beyoncé’s iconic performance as the first African American woman to headline Coachella. Yeah, you’ve read that right. Beyoncé’s 2018 Coachella performance was unique and she was the first to do it like that. Which relates to something Beyoncé said in Homecoming: “When I decided to do Coachella instead of me pulling out my flower crown, it was more important that I brought OUR culture to Coachella.“ which is such a proclamation of black culture. She then continues to talk about how she did her research into history and her own past. Additionally, she tells how she took all the mistakes and triumphs of her own 22 year old career and put them into her Coachella performance.
Historically Black Colleges & Universities (HBCU)
Beyoncé’s Homecoming represents the Homecoming of HBCU’s. Growing up, Beyoncé would go to the Battle of the Bands each fall. She mentions that it was the highlight of the year. Even though Beyoncé did not get to go to an HBCU, it was something she would have wanted. Therefore, she wanted to recreate the feeling of Homecoming at Coachella. Throughout the whole documentary, we got to see quotes from important people in black history such as W.E.B. Du Bois, Alice Walker and Audre Lorde. Other than that, there was a drumline, there were steppers, the fanfare etc.. All in All, Homecoming is definitely an ode to the Black college experience.
Besides an ode to the Black college experience, Homecoming is also a proclamation of blackness and praise of black culture. Throughout the documentary Beyoncé emphasized that her aim was to let people that ever felt unrepresented and dismissed like they were on stage with her. WhileI was watching Homecoming, I felt like I was there. Beyoncé also took it upon herself to make sure that she had every type of black person represented on stage with her. She said that black people are so talented, they have so much swagg, in their hair, the way they walk and everything. Beyoncé also included the Black National Anthem, Lift every voice and sing in her performance.
Another thing that I want to point out is that people have to keep in mind that most people that go to Coachella, are not black. However, when watching Homecoming, it makes you feel as if most of the people in the audience were actually almost all black. I think that this speaks volumes as to who Homecoming was made for. Homecoming may as well be an ode to her black fans. Just think about it, black people do not belong to the wealthiest in the US. Therefore, if a ticket to Coachella starts at about 500$, and a lot of black fans aren’t able to afford that… What does Beyoncé do? She turns her iconic performance into a movie and provides the opportunity for EVERYONE to feel as if they were there with her.
Beyoncé & black women
Throughout the film, Beyoncé showed what strenght and resilience that is instilled in black women. First of all, did you know that Beyoncé wrote, directed and executive produced the two hour and some change film? Secondly, the day she gave birth to her twins, she weighed 218lbs and had to get into shape for this iconic performance. Additionally, she gave birth in June 2017 and gave this iconic Homecoming performance in April 2018. Therefore, she had 10 months to get into shape all while juggling being a mom of three and a wife to Jay-Z. She worked so damn hard to make Homecoming happen and she never even thought she would be able to do it. I was also happy to see that little Destiny’s Child reunion happening and when Solange got to dance with her big sister.
I watched the #Beychella performance last year and I thought it was AMAZING. As a Black woman, I felt proud and I thought it was so refreshing to see another black woman perform with such pride and paying homage to black culture. I loved how her ode to blackness involved so many other people. She gave voice to Nina Simone, Malcolm X, Audre Lorde, Maya Angelou and so many more. I loved the quotes and to see how Beyoncé celebrates blackness in a world that doesn’t always. Additionally, she gave a platform to some of her crew members that shared their testimonies. What I also loved was how she emphasized that she wanted to show Black American culture. I really think Beyoncé’s hard work is easy to oversee. I loved how she told the truth about rehearsals, they can be awkward and that’s why not everybody likes them.
If you haven’t seen Homecoming by Beyoncé yet, definitely check it out on Netflix. If you have, let me know below what you think about the movie. What are your thoughts on preserving the cultural essence of HBCU’s? Any thoughts on Beyoncé’s ode to black culture? Share! Homecoming by Beyoncé made me so unapolagetic, If my country ass can do it, they can do it. that I even made a video trying to talk about all this. Enjoy!