Beyoncé Celebrates Year 1 Of 'Lemonade' By Giving Away Scholarships To Women
Queen Beyoncé, who just celebrated one year of her visual album, Lemonade, was already influencing the education system in a major way.
There was the "Black Women & Beyoncé" literature class at the University of Texas at San Antonio, the Lemonade seminar at New York University (NYU) and an entire Lemonade syllabus full of black feminist works created by a Rutgers University professor.
And now, Beyoncé has announced via her website that she will mark the first anniversary of her Peabody-award winning visual album by giving away four college scholarships to women who are studying "creative arts, music, literature or African-American studies."
The universities receiving 'Yoncé's financial blessing are: Berklee College of Music, Howard University, Spelman College and Parsons School of Design. Howard and Spelman are historically black colleges (HBCUs), and one of which (Spelman) is an all-women's institution.
An online statement explains that her scholarships are "to encourage and support young women who are unafraid to think outside the box an are bold, creative, conscious and confident."
Of course, fans are reeling.
These scholarships are hitting the right spot at the right time.
Not only is this a time when college costs are at an all-time high and student loan freedom is at an all-time low, but historically black colleges specifically have seen some of the worst fiscal hits. This was likely the reason for the controversial February meeting between HBCU presidents and Donald Trump, and subsequently, the president's signed order of support.
In 2015, Cheyney University, the nation's oldest public black college, nearly shut down, partially because of shrunken enrollment rates and "cutbacks in state higher education funding," according to Business Insider.
Spelman college,one of Beyoncé's named scholarship recipients, has experienced a few budget cuts in recent years.
Howard University recently faced one of its smallest freshman enrollment counts in history, according to the university's president.
The university continues fighting to offer adequate financial aid to students and even needs significant updates to its school buildings, which they've created a plan to majorly fix by 2018.
Of course, Beyoncé offering money to four students won't reverse all of this.
Ahem, the Trump administration and individual state legislatives have a huge responsibility to handle more of that.
Still, that Knowles-Carter money is clearly going to the right cause, and is a step in the right direction.
Howard University and NYU grad, Genet Lakew, has also created a scholarship fund to help black immigrant high school students hoping to go to her alma mater, as shared on the Clutch.
HBCU graduates, Guy Anthony and George Johnson recently started an organization to fund black gay college students, Out magazine reports.
In short? It takes a village to get these damn college costs down, especially for underprivileged groups.
America's favorite pop icon is down for the cause, and the rest of us can be too.