Last night (April 18), One World: Together at Home, a concert curated by Lady Gaga to benefit the World Health Organization and Global Citizen amid the coronavirus pandemic, brought together some of the world’s biggest musicians. Among them was Beyoncé, who used the platform to bring attention to the virus’s disproportionate effect on black Americans.
In a video statement, the singer begins by celebrating the “true heroes” of the pandemic: “those who are making the ultimate sacrifice to keep us all safe, fed, and healthy… the doctors, the nurses, and other healthcare workers who are away from their families, taking care of ours.”
“To those in the food industry, delivery workers, mail carriers and sanitation employees, who are working so that we can be safe in our homes, we thank you for your selfless service.”
Beyoncé then goes on to point out: “black Americans disproportionately belong to these essential parts of the workforce that do not have the luxury of working from home, and African American communities at large have been severely affected in this crisis.”
“This virus is killing black people at an alarmingly high rate here in America,” she adds, also citing a recent report from her home city of Houston, which shows that of COVID-19 deaths within Houston city limits, “57% of fatal cases are African American”. (For context, recent demographic reports on the city put the African American population at around 22%.)
“Please protect yourselves,” Beyoncé concludes. “We are one family and we need you. We need your voices, your abilities, and your strength all over this world.”