The day before her Super Bowl 50 performance, Beyonce surprised the world with a new song and video (what else is new) The song, entitled Formation, along with the video is a loud and proud expression and celebration of Black culture. The instant anthem had Black people everywhere exclaiming their Black pride more than ever across the Internet. It was lit. I even recorded a reaction video!
But of course, the Beyonce haters and the undercover racists came out in droves upon the release of Formation. They were livid, HA!. Meanwhile, Beyonce was eating popcorn court side at a basketball game and we Black folk were screaming the lyrics in the streets ~UNBOTHERED. And I refuse to respond or even acknowledge the unnecessary and whiny think-pieces some folks are writing. Because, ultimately, the people criticizing the song are the people the song WAS NOT MEANT FOR, aka non-Black people. So, bloop!
Initially, I was going to write a blog post explaining and commenting on all the Black culture appreciation images and metaphors in the Formation video but I think others have done an excellent job of doing just that. Here is a link to one of my favorites. Instead, I wanted to talk in general about pop culture when it comes to controversial moments.
As mentioned, I posted a video to Youtube reacting to Beyonce’s new record. The video has picked up some views but what I find really interesting are the comments. In a few of the comments, people stated that they have become new fans of Beyonce. To me that was quite telling because although Beyonce is an incredible artist and performer and has a discography that has and will SLAY your favs for decades to come, it was not until her overtly, unapologetically BLACK song was released that they finally converted. It says to me that Beyonce, and many artists in general, can become so successful that they end up no longer being relatable to their fans. Also, I find that often times some celebrities become so big that they do not want to do anything controversial inorder to avoid losing fans or even endorsements, etc. So, as a result, they choose not to comment on certain topics i.e. police brutality, racism, politics etc. But, oh, not Queen Beyonce Giselle Knowles Carter. She stood on a sinking police car shouting how much she loves her Blackness and how she wants you to love yours too. My Lordt, this woman!
I feel this is the sentiment for many of us POC. That is, as human beings and as creators and consumers of art, we are fed up with society telling us that our culture and our features are ugly or low-class except when appropriated by people not of our culture. We, too, are amazing and magical and we are refusing to support artists and people who say otherwise.