“We got rhythm, we got pride, we birth kings, we birth tribes,” Beyoncé sings toward the end of the nearly five-minute song “Black Parade Route.” AP photo

“We got rhythm, we got pride, we birth kings, we birth tribes,” Beyoncé sings toward the end of the nearly five-minute song “Black Parade Route.” AP photo

Beyoncé drops surprise single ‘Black Parade’ on Juneteenth

“I’m going back to the South, I’m going back where my roots ain’t watered down”

LOS ANGELES — Beyoncé did not let Juneteenth pass without dropping one of her signature surprises — a new single called “Black Parade.”

“I’m going back to the South, I’m going back where my roots ain’t watered down,” Beyoncé sings, opening the track. At several points on Friday’s release, the singer tells listeners to “Follow my parade.”

Proceeds from the song will benefit Black-owned small businesses, a message entitled “Black Parade Route” on the singer’s website said. The post included links to dozens of Black-owned businesses.

“Happy Juneteenth. Being Black is your activism. Black excellence is a form of protest. Black joy is your right,” the message said.

Juneteenth commemorates when the last enslaved African Americans learned they were free. While the 1862 Emancipation Proclamation freed slaves in the South beginning Jan. 1, 1863, it wasn’t enforced in many places until after the end of the Civil War two years later. Confederate soldiers surrendered in April 1865, but word didn’t reach the last enslaved Black people until June 19, when Union soldiers brought the news of freedom to Galveston, Texas.

“We got rhythm, we got pride, we birth kings, we birth tribes,” Beyoncé sings toward the end of the nearly five-minute song.

Juneteenth — typically a day of both joy and pain — was marked with new urgency this year, amid weekslong protests over police brutality and racism sparked by the May 25 death of George Floyd, a Black man, at the hands of Minneapolis police.

Beyoncé spoke out on social media in the wake of Floyd’s death.

“We’re broken and we’re disgusted. We cannot normalize this pain,” she said in an Instagram video that called for people to sign a petition demanding justice for Floyd.

The singer also joined the call for charges against the officers involved in the killing of Breonna Taylor, who was gunned down in March by officers who burst into her Kentucky home. Beyoncé wrote in a letter Sunday to Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron that the three Louisville police officers “must be held accountable for their actions.” Cameron has asked for patience amid a probe, but Louisville’s mayor announced Friday that one of the officers would be fired.

The release of “Black Parade” is the singer’s latest philanthropic effort. In April she announced her BeyGOOD charity would partner with Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey’s Start Small campaign to provide $6 million in relief funds to a variety of groups working to provide basic necessities in cities like Detroit, Houston, New York and New Orleans.

It’s also the latest surprise release from the singer, who along with husband Jay-Z released the nine-track album “Everything Is Love” in 2018 with no notice. In 2013, Beyoncé released the self-titled album “Beyoncé,” also without any notice.

“I hope we continue to share joy and celebrate each other, even in the midst of struggle,” she wrote in an Instagram post announcing the release of “Black Parade.” “Please continue to remember our beauty, strength and power.”

Coronavirus

Just Posted

Police officers and their dogs undergo training at the RCMP Police Dog Services training centre in Innisfail, Alta., on Wednesday, July 15, 2015. Mounties say they are searching for an armed and dangerous man near a provincial park in northern Alberta who is believed to have shot and killed a service dog during a police chase. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
RCMP search for armed man in northern Alberta after police dog shot and killed

Cpl. Deanna Fontaine says a police service dog named Jago was shot during the pursuit

Alberta now has 2,336 active cases of COVID-19, with 237 people in hospital, including 58 in intensive care. (Black Press file photo)
Red Deer down to 73 active cases of COVID-19, lowest since early November

The Central zone has 253 active cases of the virus

The Sylvan Lake Gulls show off the home jerseys (white) and their way jerseys at the Gulls Media Day on June 17, before the season opener. Following the media day, the team took to the field for their first practise. (Photo by Megan Roth/Sylvan Lake News)
Sylvan Lake Gulls ready to throw first pitch as construction continues

The Gulls inaugural season kicks off June 18 with a game against the Edmonton Prospects

People line up to get their COVID-19 vaccine at a vaccination centre, Thursday, June 10, 2021 in Montreal. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz
Vaccines, low COVID case counts increase Father’s Day hope, but risk is still there

Expert says people will have to do their own risk calculus before popping in on Papa

A lotto Max ticket is shown in Toronto on Monday Feb. 26, 2018.THE CANADIAN PRESS
No winning ticket sold for Friday’s $70 million Lotto Max jackpot

The huge jackpot has remained unclaimed for several weeks now

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is seen during a joint news conference following the EU-Canada Summit, in Brussels, Belgium, Tuesday June 15, 2021. Trudeau says Canada is on track now to have 68 million doses delivered by the end of July, which is more than enough to fully vaccinate all 33.2 million Canadians over the age of 12. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Vaccine deliveries enough to fully vaccinate all eligible Canadians by end of July

Three in four eligible Canadians now have their first dose, nearly one in five fully vaccinated.

Chief Public Health Officer Theresa Tam listens to a question during a news conference, in Ottawa, Tuesday, Jan. 12, 2021. The number of confirmed COVID-19 cases attributed to the highly contagious Delta variant grew in Canada this week. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Canada’s public health agency reports spike in confirmed cases of Delta variant

More than 2,000 cases of the variant confirmed across all 10 provinces and in one territory

The federal government says it wants to ban most flavoured vaping products in a bid to reduce their appeal to youth. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-Craig Mitchelldyer
Health Canada proposes ban on most vaping flavours it says appeal to youth

If implemented, the regulations would restrict all e-cigarette flavours except tobacco, mint and menthol

The Montreal Police logo is seen in Montreal on Wednesday, July 8, 2020. Some Quebec politicians are calling for an investigation after a video was released that appears to show a Montreal police officer with his leg on a young Black man’s neck during an arrest. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson
Probe called for after video appearing to show Montreal officer’s knee on Black youth’s neck

Politicians call for investigation after clip evokes memories of George Floyd incident

Flora Northwest was taken to the Ermineskin residential school when she was six years old. (Emily Jaycox/Ponoka News)
Ermineskin residential school survivor: ‘It just brings me back to the cries at night’

Discovery in Kamloops of remains of 215 children a painful time for survivors

Thousands of protesters make their way through the downtown core during a Black Lives Matter protest in Ottawa, Friday June 5, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
MPs’ study of systemic racism in policing concludes RCMP needs new model

Chair of the House public safety committee says it’s time for a reckoning on ‘quasi-military’ structure

Most Read