During the late ’90s and early 2000’s, Beyoncé Knowles-Carter became a household name, thanks to her time with Destiny’s Child, as well as her solo career. To this day, Beyoncé has broken countless records and continues to sell millions of albums worldwide.
While most celebrities start to fade from the spotlight though, Beyoncé’s fame has only grown since she first came onto the scene. In turn, her performances continue to get bigger and better. Take, for example, her headline performance at last year’s Coachella. As this particular performance gained a lot of attention, fans expected the female superstar to acknowledge it sometime in the future. And that she did, in her newest documentary, “Homecoming.”
Although, in usual Beyoncé fashion, the singer did not directly announce or promote her project, to any extent. But on April 7, Netflix posted a cryptic yellow image on their social media accounts with black text reading “Homecoming” and the date April 17. While the date clearly indicated when this project would be released, the rest of the post was ambiguous.
Viewers searched for more clues in the post, like the Greek letters theta and sigma, which served as substitutes for the “o’s” and “e” in the word homecoming. Fans remembered Beyoncé’s clothing line, titled “Homecoming,” which features clothing with Greek letters and images that represent black culture.
But for true Yoncé fans, the color choice of yellow and black was a clear indicator of the project’s connection to the female singer. The colors are representative both of Beyonce’s fanbase, the Beyhive, as well as the singer’s famous outfit worn during her 2018 Coachella performance.
The following day, Netflix released the official trailer for Beyoncé’s documentary, which focuses on her 2018 Coachella performance” As the first black woman to headline Coachella in its nearly two decades of existence, Beyoncé recognized the impact that this performance would have on both her fans and the festival itself.
As most fans attending Coachella were unaware of the deep history behind this performance, the female singer made it her mission to enlighten audiences by showcasing aspects of historically black colleges and universities, or HBCUs, including things like marching bands playing gospel songs. The message is emphasized in the trailer, which includes candid footage of the creative process of the performance.
Instead of playing footage of herself, her family or her team in the trailer, the pop queen decided to play an excerpt of a Maya Angelou speech, where the late poet expresses her interest in being “the best representative of [my] race, the human race. I have a chance to show how kind we can be, how intelligent and generous we can be. I have a chance to teach and to love and to laugh.” By including this speech, Beyoncé demonstrates her aim to unite people through her performance. Hopefully, her audience will understand the importance of this performance in expressing black history.
Furthermore, the choice to include a well-known poet and advocate within her community emphasizes Beyoncé’s desire to create something impactful. Despite the inclusion of typical footage of the star in the studio or with her family, which most viewers would expect, the trailer suggests that this documentary will be more than just a regular concert film.
The Message Behind the Performance
Beyoncé’s “Homecoming” performance was unique in that it paid homage to historically black colleges and universities in America, something that had never been done at Coachella before. While the popular music festival is often catered to a primarily white audience, it was particularly important for the singer educate her audience on different cultures.
After the trailer’s debut, the streaming service described the film as being “interspersed with candid footage and interviews detailing the preparation and powerful intent behind [Beyoncé’s] vision… [and] traces the emotional road from creative concept to cultural movement.” Without all of these important details, the various historical and cultural implications of this performance would not be as widely understood by audiences.
As someone who has diligently worked for her fame and success, Beyoncé recognizes her “responsibility to do what’s best for the world and not what is most popular.” As a result, fans and non-fans alike will eagerly tune into this documentary to discover the true thoughts and recommendations of one of the biggest names in the music industry.
Viewers will also see the singer in a new light, as she seemingly opens up about her personal life in a new way. Historically, Beyoncé has kept quiet about her personal life, in a consistent effort to maintain a high level of privacy.
Even more so, the documentary focuses a lot on Beyoncé’s oldest child, Blue Ivy, who supposedly had a big hand in the designing the “Homecoming” performance. In a clip from the trailer, the young girl is seen choreographing dances, with Beyoncé’s team following Ivy’s every move. As this part of the trailer continues to receive more positive attention, fans are now wondering how much of a role the 8-year-old had in the performance’s creation and development.
As the trailer left fans with more questions than answers, only time will tell as to what these aspects truly entail. “Homecoming” is available for streaming on Netflix now.