Who Runs the World? Beyoncé (and a Little Taylor, Too): #NowWhat
ColumnBeyoncé has had a hell of a month. The artist has always been on top of the pop music game, but a few weeks ago, she got political. And oh, how glorious it was.
Everyone reading is probably aware that Beyoncé released the video for her new song “Formation” a few weeks ago. The release was a total surprise. While most of her fans were pleased with the powerful political direction the pop star took, some people — excuse me, let me be more specific — some white people got realllly upset.
In the video, Beyoncé speaks strongly and confidently about her history, race, and what it means to be black in American today. All of the imagery in her video is beautiful and stirring. While, yes, there are amazing outfits to ogle, Beyoncé also makes references to the many police-on-young-back-person shootings that have happened over the past few years, and Hurricane Katrina.
I guess we shouldn’t be surprised by this, but some viewers have called the video inappropriate.
“Some called the imagery in the video an affront to police and urged viewers ahead of her halftime performance at the Super Bowl to #BoycottBeyoncé for her aligning herself with the Black Lives Matters movement,” CNN reports.
And to add fire to the stupid-fueled flame, these same people are also upset that Beyoncé’s backup singers danced in Black Panther garb during the 2016 Super Bowl Half-Time Show. Lots of boneheaded tweets were posted, and some hot heads even went as far as organizing an anti-Beyoncé rally outside the National Football League’s headquarters.
All this “support the police,” and the “she’s being racist to white people” rhetoric is total shit. The only reason these people are angry is because a strong black woman decided to use her art to discuss what being black means to her. I, for one, am super stoked that Beyoncé is getting political and pissing people off… Because once you piss people off, important discussions tend to begin.
Now, I’m not the only one who is irritated at the Beyoncé hate. SNL gloriously commented on the matter, and Beyoncé’s supporters are telling all her haters to shut-it. For example, some of the singer’s supporters had a counter-protest to defend the singer and her art.
“When Black women affirm Blackness/Black womanhood, they are attacked and silenced,” the Black Girl Rising event page, states.
“This is a counter protest to a racist, ahistorical attack on the Black Panther Party and Beyoncé, plus an excuse to celebrate a very awesome song and #BlackGirlMagic moment. Sisters, dress in your ‘Formation’ video/Super Bowl performance-inspired gear and make this a moment a joyous one! Allies and friends, show up and show your support! We have asked our biggest stars to get political and Bey went there. Don’t let anyone make her powerful statement about the value of Black life be overshadowed by those who don’t believe that our lives matter.”
While the week, month, and let’s be honest — probably the year — belongs to the “why we love Beyoncé movement,” Taylor Swift actually had a pretty rad “hell yeah, woman power,” second at the Grammy’s on Monday night (February 15).
During her Album of the Year acceptance speech, the singer spoke about how she made herself famous. The speech was a powerful rally cry directed toward young girls who are, perhaps, belittled by bullies and jerks who take joy in tearing down females. While the speech works on a broad scale, it also seemed pretty obvious that many of her words were directed toward Kanye West and his “I made that bitch famous” line on his new album.
Who would have thought that a music video and Grammy speech could get so many people riled up?
Let’s hope both these artists and artists who are similar to them keep producing challenging pieces of art that make everyone stop and pay attention to the injustices that happen all over the world.
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