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Lady Gaga, 2021 Beloved Community Awards
Lady Gaga, 2021 Beloved Community Awardsvia YouTube

Lady Gaga condemns white supremacy in Higher Ground Award acceptance speech

The musician was honoured for her art and activism at the King Center’s Beloved Community Awards

Yesterday (January 16), Lady Gaga spoke on systemic white supremacy as she was honoured for her art and activism at the 2021 Beloved Community Awards, organised by the King Center, an organisation that aims to uphold the legacy of Martin Luther King Jr.

Receiving the Yolanda Denise King Higher Ground Award, the Chromatica singer was specifically recognised for co-founding the Born This Way foundation, which campaigns for mental health and provides resources to help marginalised groups. 

The non-profit has played a role in providing coronavirus relief, with Gaga herself raising $35 million for COVID-19 aid though 2020’s One World: Together at Home concert. Gaga has also been commended for speaking out about racism and white supremacy amid Black Lives Matter protests last year.

Receiving the award, Gaga continued to speak out against white supremacy. “I dedicate this award to Black, Brown and Indigenous people, triumphant people, whose resilience is the life force of every beloved community in this country,” she says in her acceptance speech. “Black, Brown and Indigenous people continue to thrive in the midst of systemic oppression, thrive with radical joy, unapologetically creating full and beautiful lives despite the systems of white supremacy that are intended to keep them from doing so.”

She also discusses the responsibility of unlearning a white supremacist worldview, as she touched on in an interview last year. “The colour of my own skin is not lost on me,” she says. “I believe the Beloved Community is possible when, and if, people who look like me – other white people – commit to unlearning.”

Watch Lady Gaga’s full acceptance speech below.