ENTERTAINMENT
19/04/2020 10:18 BST

Beyoncé Outlines How Coronavirus Is Disproportionately Affecting Black Communities In Powerful Together At Home Speech

"This virus is killing Black people at an alarmingly high rate here in America," the singer warned.

Beyoncé highlighted how coronavirus is disproportionately affecting Black Americans in a powerful speech during the One World: Together At Home concert.

The Grammy-winning singer is one of many famous faces who appeared during the eight-hour broadcast, and while she chose not to perform, she did deliver one of the stand-out speeches of the night.

“Tonight, we celebrate true heroes,” she began. “Those who are making the ultimate sacrifice to keep us all safe, fed and healthy. To the doctors, nurses and other healthcare workers who are away from their families to take care of ours,  we continue to pray for your safety.

“To those in the food industry, delivery workers, mail carriers and sanitation employees, who are working so we can be safe in our homes, we thank you for your selfless service.” 

YouTube/Global Citizen
Beyoncé during the Together At Home broadcast

Beyoncé continued: “Black Americans disproportionately belong to these essential parts of the workforce that do not have the luxury of working from home. African-American communities at large have been severely affected in this crisis.

“Those with pre-existing conditions are at an even higher risk. This virus is killing Black people at an alarmingly high rate here in America.”

“A recent report in my home city, Houston, Texas, showed that of Covid-19 deaths within Houston city limits, 57 per cent of fatal cases are African-American,” the star added.

“Please protect yourselves. We are one family and we need you, we need your voices and your abilities and your strength all over this world.

“I know it’s very hard but please be patient, stay encouraged, keep the faith, stay positive and continue to pray for our heroes. Good night, and God bless you.”

Unfortunately, the story is much the same in Britain, where a study published earlier this month found that a third of coronavirus patients were Black or Asian, despite those groups making up only 13% of the UK population.

The research found that some 14% of those with the most serious cases were Black and the same amount were Asian, sparking calls for further probes into structural inequality and health outcomes.

Lord Simon Woolley, chair of the landmark Race Disparity Audit’s advisory group told HuffPost UK: “This should be a wake up call for the government in regard to how it responds.

“There must be a minister with responsibility for race that needs to sit around these decision making tables ensuring how they mitigate the disproportionate impact that is occurring for Black and minority communities; this has to be at a cabinet level.”

The eight-hour One World: Together At Home event – curated by Lady Gaga – was broadcast live on YouTube, with select highlights being shown across many channels in the US in a two-hour condensed broadcast.

On Sunday night, BBC One will also air some of the key performances, as well as new ones specific to British viewers, including Little Mix, Tom Jones and Rag’n’Bone Man.