When Beyoncé moves, mountains follow.
Her impact has never been subtle. Even when Beyoncé covered the 2015 September issue of Vogue and declined to give an interview, her silence spoke volumes. She speaks to us when she’s good and damn ready.
So when news broke that she’d be covering this year’s September issue of Vogue, many rejoiced, expecting her to snub another request for an interview. But not only did she speak; she did us one better. Beyoncé took control of her narrative through the entirety of the package, allowing herself to be vulnerable enough to share her experiences with birthing complications, body image issues, generational tolls and more.
She was able to do so, in part, because of the people working to bring this piece of journalism to life who looked like her. She approved Tyler Mitchell to lead the shoot, making him the first black photographer to capture a Vogue cover in its 126-year history. Her words, as told to black journalist Clover Hope, humanize our beloved icon but somehow remind us just how godly she is at the same time.
And it was clear as day that she did it all for us. Beyoncé took one of the top (and whitest) magazines in the world and placed a welcome mat down for people it ignores. She used her reign to shine a light on and celebrate blackness and black womanhood. She drew the curtains back to welcome the ancestors and left the front door open for generations to come.
TL;DR: She did that.
And what makes this even sweeter is that Bey is among a class of black women rightfully ruling September 2018 covers. From Essence and Ebony to Elle and The Hollywood Reporter, these covers remind us of the space that we deserve to take up.
On this edition of “Run That Back,” Julia Craven and Taryn Finley discuss Beyoncé’s history-making Vogue cover story, the ties from the past that bind us to our futures and the beauty of Bey finishing her own braid.