Apr 5, 2024 - News

Little Rock Nine member reflects on Beyoncé's "Blackbird"

A photo of the Little Rock Nine being escorted by federal troops after school.

The Little Rock Nine being escorted by federal troops after school. Photo: Getty Images

Little Rock Nine member Melba Pattillo Beals, 82, said Beyoncé's take on The Beatles' "Blackbiird" brought new meaning to the lyrics, the Washington Post reported.

"Blackbird," the second track on the album, is sung by Beyoncé and Black female artists Tanner Adell, Brittney Spencer, Tiera Kennedy and Reyna Roberts.

Flashback: The Little Rock Nine are a group of Black students who enrolled in Little Rock's all-white Central High School in 1957. They eventually were escorted to classes by federal troops.

The bottom line: Beals told the Post that Beyoncé's version is a meaningful inclusion.

  • "Paul McCartney said by writing that song, 'I hear you. I may not be able to rescue you, but I hear you singing in your dark,'" she said.

Go deeper: Hear the original.

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