“She was a feminist before the feminist movement. She was identified as a lesbian and thought about gay rights organizing before the gay rights movement. She was an anti-colonialist before all of the independences had been won in Africa and the Caribbean.”
Beyoncé’s Coachella performance may have introduced “Lift Every Voice and Sing” to a new audience, but the song maintains more than a century of deep ties to African-Americans’ struggle against racism.
“I’ve started to see a dimensionality finally appear in the materials I was being sent, the scripts I was reading. And I started to see it in other places—in the treatment of our cultures, of our characters.”