Its been an exciting week in The Life And Times of Mrs Carter.
Here we thought Rihannas highly anticipated ‘Anti’ would be the word on everyone’s lips.
But Beyonce, never one to be upstaged, has found her self at the centre of not one, but TWO race debates in little over a week.
The new video for 'Hymn For The Weekend’ Featuring Coldplay, came under fire for alleged cultural appropriation. After Bey donned a Sari and tradition Asian jewellery in front of a psychedelic kaleidoscope backdrop. To the dismay of the Asian community.
But this trepidation has been completely out shadowed by Beys latest video for Formation, which I have to assume we’ve all seen by now.
The Gothic New Orleans Hoodoo vibe. The slave paintings and suggestive attire. The sinking Cop Car in Flood waters. The Don’t Shoot reference. If you haven’t, you’ve at the very least seen reactions (memes, vines, tweets) about the loaded connotations in the video.
For once we can say, Beyonce went Super Black on us, in a bold move that could easily alienate her consumer audience.
Which really speaks volumes, as for years she’s worked so hard to be this one-size-fits-all type artist for women. Which, if you’ve ever ordered anything online - just does not work.
As Jenna Wortham in the New York Times wrote;
“Formation’ isn’t just about police brutality — it’s about the entirety
of the black experience in America in 2016, which includes standards of
beauty, (dis)empowerment, culture and the shared parts of our history.”
And if your trying to figure out what might have prompted Beyonce to go all Malcolm X at the Superbowl, Blue Ivys appearance in the video might be an indication. And I too, am thankful for Blues so called 'Nappy’ hair - because if it was more like North Wests, we might not have even had a formation video. Or song with such a poignant political message.
And Beyonces fans have been fleeing in scores, with calls to Boycott everything owned by her and her husband.
“As the wife of a police officer, I am offended by this entire video,” wrote one user (via Business Insider).
“Rise above and stay above the strife. For a girl who grew up in a
privileged, wealthy family, she has no business pandering to those who
what the hell did I just watch? I think my ears are bleeding now. when did she become so trashy? I’ve always found it funny, that blacks try too hard to be whites..white hair, bleached skin..etc etc. it’s as if they’re just mad that no matter what they do, they’ll never be white.
In addition to Youtube choosing to unlist the video for being described as ‘Anti-police‘.
Lets shatter two misconceptions quickly.
Firstly, its never been more evident that there is in fact a grand scale conspiracy by Law enforcement (and big Institutions) against particular races. As if the news and media coverage of minorities being executed by the very people sworn to protect them wasn’t enough? To deny its existence any longer is simply choosing to be ignorant.
Secondly, There’s this misapprehension that to be Pro-black you must be anti-white. One can love themselves, and their culture, and fight for their injustices without wishing ill on other races. For instance, I don’t even have a pet but I am pro-animal rights. And I’m only gay on the weekends but I fight for gay rights all the time. injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere #MLKTaughtMe
And that’s the over simplified definition of some of the many messages she’s sending out in this video. And the angered responses from her non-black audience only reiterate the idea that Black culture is cool, but being black isn’t. A discussion that was long overdue, so I suggest we all get in formation.
And if you wanna know what Jay Z thinks, Tidal just donated 1.5 million to the Black Lives Matter cause.