By Nolan Feeney
February 9, 2015

Beyoncé’s performance at the 2015 Grammy Awards wasn’t just one of the evening’s most captivating sets, it also was one of the most political.

Though it can be hard to focus on anything but Beyoncé when she’s taking the stage, the multiple Grammy winner — who took home another gong last night for Best R&B performance — explained her choice of onstage companions in a new behind-the-scenes video.

Following last year’s outrage over the deaths of Eric Garner and Michael Brown, Beyoncé hand-picked a group of black men to join her for the gospel song “Take My Hand, Precious Lord” (featured in the movie Selma) “to show the strength and vulnerability in black men,” she says.

While the diva explains her personal connection to the song and the Civil Rights movement — her grandparents marched with Martin Luther King Jr.— she mostly lets the men featured in the clip do the talking. “I feel like being part of this is showing black men in a positive light and showing that we are members of this society and we have value,” one says. “Our lives have meaning.”

Read next: Watch Beyoncé Perform a Stunning Gospel Song at the 2015 Grammys

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Write to Nolan Feeney at nolan.feeney@time.com.

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