One of the most poignant chapters of Beyoncé‘s visual album Lemonade paid tribute to Michael Brown, Trayvon Martin and Eric Garner who were killed by U.S. police. Beyonce’s direction was that the mothers of these men appear “regal,” Lezley McSpadden, the mother of Michael Brown, SiriusXM.
“I tried to hold it together, but anytime I’m talking about my son – looking at a picture – I just think about all that’s gone and how he had so much ahead of him,” McSpadden said. “So I appreciate her for being bold enough to confront things and be sensitive at the same time.”
Beyonce contacted McSpadden about appearing in Lemonade, she said. “I cried. I was like, ‘You know, me? Out of all the people? You’re such a big celebrity and have so much going on, and 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’s just a sweet person, and she’s really down to earth. She treated us well and she made sure we were comfortable.”
McSpadden recalled first meeting the singer after being invited to a Prince concert in Baltimore last year. “It was a surprise. …. [Beyonce] didn’t come in with a big ego. She didn’t come in like a celebrity. She was wholeheartedly sympathetic. She talked, she cried, and she shared some things with us.”
Lemonade also featured appearances from Trayvon Martin’s mother, Sybrina Fulton, and Eric Garner’s mother, Gwen Carr.
Tuesday marked the release of McSpadden’s memoir, Tell the Truth and Shame the Devil: The Life, Legacy, and Love of My Son Michael Brown.