There’s a touching moment at the start of the video for Beyoncé’s “Brown Skin Girl” where the 38-year-old music icon plays a clapping game with Blue Ivy Carter, 8. It’s a simple but powerful gesture, one showcasing an unbreakable bond felt between two Black women. Though “Brown Skin Girl” was a part of Beyoncé’s Black Is King visual album, she released the stand-alone video on Aug. 24, celebrating all forms of Black womanhood. In the Jenn Nkiru-directed video, Bey snuggles her youngest daughter, 3-year-old Rumi. Cameos from Naomi Campbell, Lupita Nyong’o, Kelly Rowland, and more bring meaning to the words “Black Excellence.” It’s a visual cornucopia that remains very near and dear to Bey’s heart.
“It was so important to me in ‘Brown Skin Girl’ that we represented all different shades of brown,” Beyonce said in a brief statement to Good Morning America, who premiered the standalone video, per Variety. “We wanted every character to be shot in a regal light … It was important that we are all in this together and we’re all celebrating each other.”
The song is a celebration of Black women. “Oh, have you looked in the mirror lately? (Lately)” sings Beyoncé on the song, per Genius. “Wish you could trade eyes with me ’cause (Oh) / There’s complexities in complexion / But your skin, it glow like diamonds / Pigment like the earth, you be giving birth / To everything alive, baby, know your worth / I love everything about you, from your nappy curls / To every single curve, your body natural / Same skin that was broken / Be the same skin takin’ over.”
“Brown Skin Girl” was a highlight of The Lion King: The Gift, the soundtrack album curated by Beyoncé for the 2019 live-action remake of The Lion King. The track features Saint Jhn, Wizkid and Blue Ivy, giving Bey and Jay-Z’s daughter her second recording credit (after 2012’s “Glory,” a track by her father.) “Brown Skin Girl” also gave Blue her first-ever BET Award. She won the BET Her Award at the 2020 show, taking home the prize for best “neo soul and/or traditional R&B artists.” The song beat out “Underdog” by Alicia Keys, “Melanin” by Ciara, Lupita Nyong’o, Ester Dean, City Girls & La La, “I Choose” by Layton Green, “Tempo” by Lizzo and Missy Elliott and “Afeni” by Rhapsody and PJ Morgan.
Recently, the Carters were spotted taking a cruise around the Hampton. Beyonce and Jay, 50, took twins Rumi and Sir along with daughter Blue on their boat trip. Tina Knowles-Lawson, Bey’s beloved mother, also joined them upon the vessel, along with a few other unidentified friends. A few days after this trip, Bey (while going incognito, thanks to a gray hoodie, sunglasses, and a black facemask) touched down in New York City. It’s a rare occurrence to see the private Beyoncé in public, so these sightings were a rare treat for fans.