In a new video uploaded to YouTube, Beyoncé gives fans a behind-the-scenes look at her crowd-winning performance of “Take My Hand, Precious Lord,” including thoughts from the participants in the event and footage of rehearsals.
“The first time I heard ‘Precious Lord,’ I was a kid and my mother sang it to me. My mother played Mahalia Jackson’s version and she sang the song with her eyes closed,” Beyoncé recalls. “She was a vessel and it was like God speaking, using her body to speak and to heal.”
The performance features a group of black men standing peacefully behind the singer as she hits the high notes that made her a star.
“I wanted to find real men that have lived, have struggled, cried and have a light and a spirit about them. I felt like this is an opportunity to show the strength and vulnerability in black men.”
The men who took part in the video viewed the experience as moving tribute to society and the power of music to bring people together.
“Being a part of this is showing black men in a positive light and showing that we are members of this society and we have value,” said one member of the performance.
“As a black male, you’re viewed as a threat. I’m 5 foot 7, I’m 142 pounds. I’m not a threat. I’m one of the happiest people there is,” another participant said. “You can see blind fear still today if you’re a black male walking down the street.
Beyoncé says this performance allowed her to sing for the pain that her ancestors experienced as result of being black.
“My grandparents marched with Dr. [Martin Luther] King and my father was the part of the first generation of black men that attended an all-white school. And my father has grown up with a lot of trauma from those experiences,” Beyoncé said.
Check out the video here and let us know what you think in the comments! Did the performance do African Americans justice?Note: Populove is currently undergoing site maintenance following a hiatus. Some post images and comments from previous months may not appear as we work on the issue.