Beyoncé addresses ‘black trauma’

Beyoncé Knowles has spoken about why singing classic African-American gospel song Precious Lord, Take My Hand at the Grammys was so important to her.

Beyoncé Knowles addressed black “trauma” during her Grammys performance.

The 33-year-old songstress sung classic African-American gospel ballad Precious Lord, Take My Hand at Sunday’s awards ceremony as part of a Selma tribute, which also saw John Legend and rapper Common perform their song Glory.

Beyoncé found her Grammy performance particularly inspiring because she has witnessed firsthand the trauma generated from centuries of racial oppression against blacks in America.

“My grandparents marched with Dr. [Martin Luther] King [during the 1960s Civil Rights Movement] and my father was 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,” she explained during an eight-minute behind-the-scenes video entitled Take My Hand, Precious Lord, which was posted on her website. “I feel like now I can sing for his pain, I can sing for my grandparents’ pain, I can sing for some of the families that have lost their sons.”

On the Grammys stage, Beyoncé was front and centre, with several black men in suits surrounding her as she sang.

The placement of these males was significant, as each body posed meaning in the wake of recent race-related scandals like the death of Eric Garner in New York City and the Ferguson, Missouri, demonstrations over the killing of Michael Brown.

“I wanted to find real men that have lived, have struggled, cried, have a life and spirit about them,” Beyoncé explained. “I felt like this is an opportunity to show the strength and vulnerability in black men.”

Precious Lord, Take My Hand is a song the pop star holds dear. After hearing it as a youth, Beyoncé became present to the tremendous power of music.

“The first time I heard Precious Lord, I was a kid and my mother sang it to me,” she recalled. “And my mother played me Mahalia Jackson’s version and she sang the song with her eyes closed, and she was a vessel, and it was like, God speaking, using her body to speak and to heal.”
Copyright: Cover Media 2015

Tuesday, 10. February 2015