“In each of us, another woman or a young girl might see a reflection of herself; of her worth, of her boundless potential.” – Tessa Thompson
While watching Homecoming, I could feel the otherworldly energy of Beyoncé, the dancers, and band. There’s something incredibly special about a performance that is captivating to both fans and non-fans alike. Although I am not particularly fond of Beyoncé’s new sound, I’ve always admired her strength and flawless charisma as a performer. There’s absolutely no denying that this magnificent woman is oozing with talent. And it’s in your face, demanding your attention–whether you like it or not.
Even more so than the music, I fell in love with the energy and intensity, the overflowing happiness of the Beychella crowd, and the fact that this historical moment was captured beautifully. As the first African-American woman to ever headline Coachella, Beyoncé ensured that the concert would remain relevant for generations to come. Homecoming will be remembered for the way it connected humans from all walks of life, and created a safe space for Black people to be their authentic selves–on their own terms.
“It was important to me that everyone that had never seen themselves represented felt like they were on that stage with us,” said Beyoncé. “As a Black woman, I used to feel like the world wanted me to stay in my little box. Black women often feel underestimated. I wanted us to be proud of not only the show, but the process. Proud of the struggle. Thankful for the beauty that comes with a painful history, and rejoice in the pain … I wanted everyone to feel grateful for their curves, their sass, their honesty. Thankful for their freedom.”
Above all else, Homecoming resonates so deeply because of its bold and glorious celebration of Black culture. Sprinkled throughout the film, there are voiceovers and footage from Black women icons, including Maya Angelou, Toni Morrison, Nina Simone, and Audre Lorde. There’s an entire segment dedicated to HBCUs, which shares the deep-rooted cultural significance of Homecoming. Having attended a PWI (Predominantly White Institution), these heartwarming clips of interconnectedness among Black persons temporarily granted me access to a highly different college experience to my own.
“So many people who are culturally aware and intellectually sound are graduates of Historically Black Colleges and Universities, including my father,” Beyoncé wrote. “There’s something incredibly important about the HBCU experience that must be celebrated and protected.”
The documentary concluded with a song from Blue Ivy, soft and sweet. “I wanna do that again, because it feels good.” she exclaimed with the brightest smile, leaving us with a valuable life lesson we can all carry along with us.
Stream Homecoming exclusively on Netflix, and experience the unmatched beauty of watching Black people united and free.