During Saturday’s celebrity-filled One World: Together at Home concert, organized by Lady Gaga to raise money for the global COVID-19 response, Beyoncé made a surprise appearance and used her air time to spread an important message.
“Black Americans disproportionately belong to these essential parts of the workforce that do not have the luxury of working from home,” the singer said to the millions tuning in. “And African-American communities at large have been severely affected in this crisis. Those with pre-existing conditions are at an even higher risk. This virus is killing black people at an alarmingly high rate here in America.”
Beyoncé also shared some grim statistics. “A recent report from my home city of Houston, Texas, shows that of COVID-19 deaths within Houston city limits, 57 percent of fatal cases are African-Americans,” she said. “Please protect yourselves. We are one family, and we need you. We need your voices, your abilities and your strength all over this world. I know it’s very hard. Please be patient, stay encouraged, keep the faith, stay positive and continue to pray for our heroes.” Her words echo preliminary information that shows African-Americans dying at disproportionate rates.
Beyoncé and her family have been active in raising awareness about COVID-19, as well as funds to help combat the virus. The star also gave a surprise performance during the recent Disney Family Singalong, organized to aid Feeding America, which is setting up food banks to feed those at risk of hunger due to the pandemic. During that performance, she sang “When You Wish Upon a Star” from the Disney film Pinocchio, and dedicated her performance to “all of the health care workers who’ve been working tirelessly to keep us healthy and safe.”
Beyoncé and Jay-Z’s daughter Blue Ivy Carter, also contributed to the COVID-19 awareness efforts by filming a PSA about hand-washing that her grandmother Tina Lawson posted on her Instagram along with the caption, “My brilliant granddaughter Blue did this experiment to show how washing your hands fights the virus.” In the video, the 8-year-old demonstrates how effective soap is at getting a virus off of hands by dipping a soap-soaked finger in a bowl of pepper (a stand-in for the virus) and water and demonstrating how the pepper retracts from the soap. “This is why it’s very important to wash your hands,” she says in the video, which does not feature her face. She closes the video with, “Peace out. I hope you guys are staying safe. Wash your hands extra and please stay at home. Love y’all. Bye.”
Many left praise for Blue Ivy in the comments section. “This brilliant young queen,” one person wrote. “Love this — amazing how B raises a brave daughter,” wrote another. The couple are also parents to twins Sir and Rumi, who will turn 3 this summer; one of the toddlers can be heard crying out in the background of their big sister’s video.
Meanwhile, the Knowles-Carter family patriarch, Jay-Z, used his Shawn Carter Foundation to raise money for COVID-19 relief, specifically supporting undocumented workers, the incarcerated, homeless and elderly populations, and children of frontline health care workers in New York and Los Angeles. The foundation joined with Rihanna’s Clara Lionel Foundation to donate $2 million.Shawn Carter Foundation✔@ShawnCarterSF
Today we’re standing with @Rihanna’s @claralionelfdn to give a combined $2 million to the @MayorsFundLA @TheFundforPS @ACLU & @thenyic to support undocumented workers, children of frontline health workers and first responders, and incarcerated, elderly and homeless people.
As Jay-Z’s mom Gloria Carter, the CEO of the Shawn Carter Foundation, said in a statement, “In times of crisis it is imperative that we come together as one community to ensure that everyone, especially the most vulnerable, has access to critical needs: shelter, health, nutrition and education. The only way to get through this pandemic is with love and action.”
That seems to be a message the entire family has taken to heart.
Originally Published on Yahoo Entertainment