Beyonce brought four special guests to the VMAs alongside her last night: Sybrina Fulton, Lezley McSpaddenGwen Carr, and Wanda Johnson, the mothers of Trayvon Martin, Michael Brown, Eric Garner  and Oscar Grant, respectively.


Beyonce has interacted with most of these women before. Fulton, McSpadden and Carr all appeared in Beyonce’s long-form Lemonade video during the song “Freedom,” in which the women held photos of their deceased sons. The mothers also recently appeared in Philadelphia at the Democratic National Convention, where they showed support for candidate Hillary Clinton.

Beyonce has been outspoken about recent racism and police brutality issues. Following the murders of Alton Sterling and Philando Castile at the hands of police officers earlier this summer, Beyonce posted a powerful statement to her website, saying “the war on people of color and all minorities needs to be over. We don’t need sympathy. We need everyone to respect our lives.”

Around the same time, Beyonce participated in a Mic video listing 23 ways you could be killed in America if you are black. Watch the video below.


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And following the shootings of police officers at a rally in Dallas, Beyonce released a tribute to the victims. “Rest in peace to the officers whose lives were senselessly taken,” the singer wrote. “No violence will create peace. Every human life is valuable. We must be the solution.”

Beyonce took home eight Moonmen last night at the MTV Video Music Awards, including Video of the Year for “Formation.” See the full list of winners here.

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