Sept. 4 is a pivotal and holy date for the Beyhive: it’s Beyoncé’s birthday, and Queen B has already celebrated in a big way. Beyoncé donated $1 million to Black-owned businesses in honor of her 39th birthday. In a partnership with the NAACP, the singer’s charity initiative BeyGOOD put $1 million towards Black-owned small businesses across major cities in the U.S. that have been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. It comes after BeyGOOD and the NAACP donated $10 million to Black-owned businesses in July.
“Over the last couple of months, the pandemic and outpours for justice throughout the Black community and across the country has been felt in every imaginable area of our lives, including in how our local businesses continue to operate,” the NAACP said in a statement on its website. “The challenges of Black business owners navigating in the climate cannot be understated, as the effects of uprisings across the nation have led to many businesses being placed in dire straits due to damages and other small business needs.”
BeyGOOD, created by the Black is King star in 2013, has assisted various communities since its launch. The organization has assisted victims of Hurricane Harvey in Beyoncé’s hometown of Houston, Texas, brought safe water and sanitation to the African country of Burundi with UNICEF, and most recently donated $6 million to COVID-19 relief for food banks, wellness resources, and more in major cities in April.
“In our major cities, African-Americans comprise a disproportionate number of workers in these indispensable occupations, and they will need mental health support and personal wellness care, including testing and medical services, food supplies and food deliveries, both during and after the crisis,” Beyoncé’s reps said in a statement at the time, per Harper’s Bazaar.
Beyoncé has also been vocal about the Black Lives Matter movement. At the 2020 BET Awards in June, she dedicated her Humanitarian Award to those protesting systemic racism and police brutality. “Your voices are being heard and you’re proving to our ancestors that their struggles were not in vain,” she said in a pre-recorded speech. Calling on protestors to “walk in our true power” and “vote,” Bey continued, “I’m encouraging you to continue to take action. Continue to change and dismantle the racist and unequal system.”
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