Beyonce urged U.S. voters to “take action to dismantle a racist and unequal system” as she accepted the Humanitarian Award at the virtual BET Awards on Sunday night.
The 38-year-old singer was introduced by former U.S. First Lady Michelle Obama, who paid tribute to her philanthropic efforts as well as her musical success.
Following tributes from Tyler Perry and her mother Tina Knowles-Lawson, Beyonce used her speech to encourage fans to vote in the upcoming U.S. election in November in the hopes they can collectively try and change the system.
“I want to dedicate this award to all of my brothers out there, all of my sisters out there inspiring me, marching and fighting for change,” Beyonce said, referencing the Black Lives Matter protests sparked by the death of George Floyd at the hands of police officers. “Your voices are being heard, and you’re proving to our ancestors that their struggles were not in vain.
“Now we have one more thing we need to do to walk in our true power, and that is to vote. I’m encouraging you to continue to take action, continue to change and dismantle a racist and unequal system. We have to continue to do this together, continue to fight for each other and lift each other up because there are people banking on us staying at home during local elections in primaries happening in states across the country. We have to vote like our life depends on it.”
She concluded: “So, please continue to be the change you want to see.”
Beyonce wasn’t the only winning member of her family during the BET Awards. Her tune Brown Skin Girl, which features her daughter Blue Ivy Carter, took home the BET Her Award – making the eight-year-old the youngest-ever BET Award winner.