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Beyoncé creates space for Blackness regardless of her audience, and it's empowering to witness.

By Jazmine Joyner Beyoncé officially changed the game, again, this past Saturday. Her performance at Coachella not only broke streaming records for the festival, but when she took the stage, she also became the first Black woman to ever headline the massively popular music festival, to which she responded, “Ain’t that a bitch?” "Beychella"— a phrase coined by DJ Khaled to describe the impact Beyoncé's performance had on the festival — was a celebration of Black culture, specifically Black collegiate culture, with shout-outs to HBCU Fraternities and Sororities, marching bands, and step teams. Beyoncé created one of the Blackest performances I have ever seen performed at Coachella. Her mother, Tina Lawson, shared on Instagram her concerns for her daughter's performance; “I told Beyoncé that I was afraid that the predominately white audience at Coachella would be confused by all of the Black culture and Black college culture, because it was something that they might not get.” Her daughter’s response to these concerns were thoughtful, “I have worked very hard to get to the point where I have a true voice, and at this point in my life and my career I have a responsibility to do what's best for the world and not what is most popular.” Beychella was by far the most impressive performance I have ever seen put on by any performer. She took the Coachella stage, and gave one hell of a show. Coachella is the ultimate white space—an overpriced festival for privileged white kids to go out into the desert and wear problematic outfits and dance to their favorite bands. It wasn’t until 2014 that the festival started hosting more of a variety of mainstream hip-hop and R&B acts on its lineup. Past headliners were mostly white, featuring Arcade Fire, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Phoenix, and Kings of Leon.

In the wake of the deaths of Jordan Edwards and Richard Collins, two more black boys left to a hashtag, the highlighting of accolades and posturing is more prevalent than ever.

By Erica Buddington “Silence and uniformity are not reflections of a job well done.” I said this to a former supervisor who’d walked into a class discussion earlier that day, students laughing and intrigued, flailing their arms to be the next person to speak. He shook his head, pointed to the text that the organization abided by, and repeated, “They should be quiet. They should have their hands folded, waiting their turn. They should all be looking directly at you. There were too many voices; there was too much laughter. It should be silent when I walk into your room. Children learn and understand, better this way. They become better citizens, this way.” I watched his pointer finger hit the desk, a brown hand that had only filled out a principal fellowship application, after teaching for six months out of grad school. I’d been immersed in a classroom or learning space for almost a decade and I couldn’t fathom how someone, who claimed to be an advocate for our children, could be so closed-minded. It is this same brown hand that would push a contract towards me, excited about my data from the past year, with $10,000 dollars added to my salary, a promise that I could have more autonomy over my classroom, and a plea to revitalize their performance arts. I smiled and pushed the contract back with my own brown hand, making it clear that there was no money or autonomy in the world that could make me treat our children like this.

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