beyoncé's vma squad included the mothers of the movement

She then performed a 16 minute Lemonade medley in the show's standout performance and then left as the award's most decorated artist.

by Hannah Ongley
29 August 2016, 9:05am


After leading the way with 11 nominations for her visual epic Lemonade, Beyoncé arrived at last night's VMA MTV awards ready to slay. On the red carpet, she showed up with those who made a cameo in the chart-topping love letter. Queen Bey and princess Blue (as glittering fairytale royalty) were joined by Parkwood protégés Chloe and Halle, Oscar-nominated actress Quvenzhané Wallis, model Winnie Harlow, and the mothers of four black men who have lost their lives to police violence. Gwen Carr, Lezley McSpadden, Wanda Johnson, and Sybrina Fulton - the mothers of Eric Garner, Mike Brown, Oscar Grant, and Trayvon Martin - looked as regal as Beyoncé herself as they stood for cameras in elaborate evening gowns. 

The four mothers are also known as the Mothers of the (Black Lives Matter) Movement. Carr, McSpadden, and Fulton all appeared in Beyoncé's video for Freedom, holding photos of their slain sons. All four mothers on the VMA red carpet tonight also took the stage at the Democratic National Convention last month to voice their support of Hillary Clinton. "You don't stop being a mom when your child dies," said Lucy McBath, mother of Jordan Davis, who was killed in a dispute with a white man over loud music. 

The VMAs have long been a vehicle political statements - in 1992, Kurt Cobain had wanted to play Rape Me during a Nirvana performance and decided to sing the first few bars as a statement on free speech - so it's no surprise that police brutality has become a red carpet topic of conversation. Last year Vic Mensa made headlines when he showed up in an outfit emblazoned with tributes to Assata Shakur, a black activist and former member of the Black Panther Party. 

Beyoncé might not have been on the original performance schedule but that didn't stop her performing a 16 minutes Lemonade medley which included some of Warsan Shire's spoken word poetry. If it was in any doubt that the night belonged to her, Beyoncé emerged victorious after being handed the coveted award for MTV's Video of the Year for Formation, alongside Best Female Video for Hold Up. These wins mean she passes Madonna as the most decorated artist ever. She came to slay. We slayed.


Text Hannah Ongley
Image via Twitter

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