By Hayden Wright
Beyoncé’s visual album Lemonade contained several high profile cameos—from Serena Williams to her husband Jay-Z. Among the most resonant guest appearances, however, were three women whose sons were killed in altercations with police officers: the mothers of Michael Brown, Trayvon Martin and Eric Garner. In a recent interview, Brown’s mother Lezley McSpadden discussed meeting Beyoncé and the creative process that made her a part of the ambitious video.
McSpadden said she felt surprised at first that her personal tragedy would inspire popular music. Her son was slain unarmed in Ferguson, MO, sparking national protests and conversations about police brutality.
“You know, me? Out of all the people? You thought about me?” she said. “I felt special. She had also did some things for my son’s foundation, so at that point, I said, ‘Whatever you want me to do, I’ll do it.'”
She added that when Beyoncé spoke with her the pop star was compassionate and down to earth. “[She] didn’t come in like a celebrity,” McSpadden said. “She was wholeheartedly sympathetic, and she talked, she cried, and she shared some things with us.”
McSpadden added that it was clear that Beyoncé wanted to reveal her guests in the best light possible. “I got there and they wanted to make me look regal,” McSpadden said. “That’s what she called it. She’s just a sweet person and she’s really down to earth. She treated us well and she made sure we were comfortable.”
Ultimately, McSpadden expressed gratitude for the invitation as a platform to bring injustice to light.
“I appreciate her for being bold enough to confront things and being sensitive at the same time,” she said.