Updated: May 9, 2019
By: Tasnin Khan
“Coachella, thank you for allowing me to be the first black woman to headline.”
*Mic and hearts drop simultaneously*
Watching Beyonce make history at my first Coachella was a far more emotional experience than I had anticipated. It goes without saying that Beyonce did a number on us from beginning to end; from singing spiced up versions of her classics – complete with a full marching band and orchestra – to mastering extensive choreography, and slaying her way through a major wardrobe malfunction. I left her set feeling so invigorated and grateful to be a part of such a special night. But her performance left a sweet taste in my mouth and was revolutionary to me for other, even more important reasons. Even though it was a call for celebration that she had reached a major milestone in both the festival’s history and her own career, she used the opportunity to lift her sisters up and bring together Destiny’s Child for a reunion for the books.
While my adrenaline rushed and I felt so full as I danced and sang my heart out to throwbacks from our childhood like Say My Name and Soldier, the moment was so important to me because of the way that it inspired me as one of the many women in the crowd. So often, we come across memes that crack jokes about the other members of Destiny’s Child, Michelle and Kelly, and dismiss them. However, it’s far more rare to come across resources that celebrate their camaraderie, support for one another, and success and influence as a group to an entire generation of young girls. In fact, we see this kind of attitude and drama-stirring a lot when it comes to women succeeding (especially in entertainment), as if we can’t all win together. This moment could have been just about Beyonce, but instead she used her platform to celebrate true sisterhood and entertained the crowd as a part of Destiny’s Child – a group that has been so influential to many like me.
I grew up loving Destiny’s Child and looking up to them for their confidence, strength, and sass. As a little girl it was so exciting to watch women of color, who looked like me, thrive together. Too often, when one female entertainer does well and gets recognition for her art, the conversation quickly takes a turn for the worst and becomes a gateway to poke fun at another female artist; or an opportunity to compare her to someone that “lags behind” or “doesn’t measure up” like we saw play out with the Cardi B and Nicki Minaj fiasco. The conversation quickly dims from one of praise for one artist to a competition and fire to burn another down - and that is not cool. It’s exactly for this reason that watching Destiny’s Child reunite at Coachella served as such a powerful and necessary reminder of the amazing things that we can create when we empower and celebrate one another. When we come together as women, we flourish together.
I am so happy that Homecoming was released on Netflix so that we got to watch all the magic happen and see just how big of a unifying message was behind the entire performance. I love that the documentary showed us the powerhouse and magic in the team that made the whole thing so epic: choreographers, dancers, singers, band members, creative leads and production teams.
Just as Destiny’s Child sang hand in hand, walked side by side, and slayed their hit songs as they danced across stage together, I hope that we see more examples in the future of women in entertainment (and life) supporting one another and becoming forces to be reckoned with.