Beyoncé has surprised fans by releasing a new song in honour of Juneteenth. The singer chose the holiday, which marks the official end of slavery, to drop Black Parade, calling for "peace and reparation for my people".
Just a few hours earlier, the star announced a new initiative of the same name to support black-owned businesses. The project also provided an online directory of black-owned companies, ranging from fashion and beauty to restaurants and bookshops.
"Happy Juneteenth Weekend! I hope we continue to share joy and celebrate each other, even in the midst of struggle," Beyoncé wrote on Instagram. "Please continue to remember our beauty, strength and power. Being Black is your activism. Black excellence is a form of protest. Black joy is your right."
This is the singer’s first solo music since The Gift last year, her companion album to The Lion King. She recently teamed up with rapper Megan Thee Stallion for a remix of Savage.
In recent weeks, Beyoncé has been vocal about the global coronavirus crisis, the killing of George Floyd and the Black Lives Matter movement. She took part in YouTube's 'Dear Class of 2020' video, delivering an empowering speech that explained one of the main purposes of her art "has been dedicated to showing the beauty of Black people to the world, our history, our profundity and the value of Black lives. I’ve tried my best to pull down the veil of appeasement to those who may feel uncomfortable with our excellence."
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