“Homecoming: A Film by Beyoncé,” premiered early Wednesday and fans were tuned in across the globe to see the behind-the-scenes look at one of the memorable performances of the Coachella music festival.
Here are five of the most inspiring moments from the Netflix special.
- This opening quote from Maya Angelou
In one of the opening scenes, the film used the voice and words of Dr. Maya Angelou: “What I really want to do is be a representative of my race, of the human race.”
Oprah Magazine discovered that the quote was taken from the 2013 interview on the Canadian show George Stroumboulopoulos Tonight. The rest of the quote continues…
“…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. I know that when I finish doing what I’m sent here to do, I will be called home. And I will go home without any fear, trepidations, wondering what’s gonna happen.”
“We are more and more becoming intelligent. I don’t mean educated, but we Americans are growing up a little bit, and that’s a blessing,” Angelou said. “If we weren’t growing up we wouldn’t have a Black President in there. Black men and women are heading some of the leading universities in our country and corporations, Black men and women. Little by little, we grow up. It’s hard. Most people don’t grow up; they just get older.”
2. Beyonce putting the complexity and brilliance of Black culture front and center.
Beyonce was the first Black woman to headline Coachella, which made this performance that much more special and iconic. The mother-of-three knew just what a mark she would make in the performance which is why she made sure to specifically center Black culture, Black performers and Black women.
“It was important to me that everyone had who never seen themselves represented felt like they were on that stage with us,” Beyonce said in the film. “As a black woman, I used to feel like the world wanted me to stay in my little box. And black woman often feels underestimated. I wanted us to be proud of not only the show but the process. Proud of the struggle. Thankful for the beauty that comes with a painful history and rejoice in the pain. Rejoice in the imperfections and the wrongs that are so damn right.”
She continued: “I wanted everyone to feel thankful for their curves, their sass, their honesty – thankful for their freedom. It was no rules, and we were able to create a free, safe space where none of us were marginalized.”
3. The show was absolutely inspired by the beauty of HBCUs.
While talking about the inspiration for the performance ,Beyonce revealed that she always to attend an HBCU but never got the chance because of her career.
“My college was Destiny’s Child, my college was traveling around the world, and life was my teacher,” she says.
In the film, she shared that her father attended the HBCU Fisk University and that she often had rehearsals at the HBCU in Houston, Texas Southern University.
“There is something incredibly important about the HBCU experience that must be celebrated and protected,” she said.
Which is why she ensured that drumlines, steppers, and majorettes were present throughout the performance.
4. The triumph after a “difficult” and life-threatening pregnancy.
The award-winning singer shared her pregnancy which resulted in an emergency C-section.
But this wasn’t the first time she opened up about her pregnancy. It was in an essay she wrote for Vogue where fans discovered that she was at 218 pounds while pregnant and suffered from high blood pressure and preeclampsia. One of her twins’ hearts stopped beating while in the womb.
After the birth of the twins, Beyonce said it was a struggle to get back into performance mode. Of course, there was the rigorous training which left her feeling exhausted.
“That’s hard when you don’t feel like yourself. I had to rebuild my body,” she said. “It took me a while to feel confident enough to … give in my own personality. In the beginning, it was so many muscle spasms and, just internally, my body was not connected,” she continued. “My mind was not there. My mind wanted to be with my children. What people don’t see is the sacrifice.”
She also spoke about the feeling many moms share. How do you give 100 percent to your work and your family.
“Just trying to figure out how to balance being the mother of a 6-year-old and of twins that need me and giving myself creatively and, um, physically, it’s a lot to juggle,” she confessed. “I definitely pushed myself further than I knew I could, and I learned a valuable lesson: I will never, never push myself that far again.”
5. The reminder that failure is a necessity on the path to excellence.
Viewers even got a chance to see the “Formation” singer struggling during rehearsals. And it created one of the most memorable quotes from the documentary.
“This is grounding. Like no matter who you are, you get in here and it’s real,” Beyoncé said between practice. “That’s why people don’t like to rehearse. You gotta be humble. You gotta be willing to look awkward and you gotta study, be a student.”