It was the half time seen around the world. And days later the public is still consumed with what they saw and if they liked it. This has got to be the most talked about half time show since Janet Jackson “nipple gate.” In case you missed it her is the replay. Saturday afternoon while you may have cleaning house or running errands the Queen Bey herself blessed us with may just be her best work to date. With New Orleans as her backdrop she created “Formation, ” an audio/visual homage to her Black/creole heritage, Katrina tragedy, southern traditions seeped in as rich tones as the ladies portrayed in the beauty supply store, or the essence of Black goth we see as she holds court on the porch draped in Black and shiny necklaces. From the dilapidated buildings, streets flooded with no relief to a child dancing in the streets. This is the Beyonce many of us have been waiting to emerge. The totally conscious feminist who has arrived to tell you about a few things.
Video courtesy of Beyonce.com via Youtube youtube.com/watch
The overall message is one that states that although she has made all this money she never forgets her roots, still keeps the all important “hot sauce in her bag, swag” This song is part dis to all the haters who have ever complained about Blue Ivy’s hair being to nappy or the size of her husband Jay Z’s nose size to those haters that she proclaims to “twirl” she tells them she “likes her baby’s hair afro, her Negros nose like those Jackson five nostrils.” She likes it just fine. What she doesn’t like is the remnants left behind after the levees broke, and all the FEMA trucks left. We see her sprawled across a police car submerged in water possibly signifying the drowned or rebirth perhaps of better days. The most compelling and thought provoking is the young boy seen dancing in front of what looks like a police firing squad the wall behind the boy tagged with the words Stop shooting us! The little boy puts his hands up and the officers also put their hands up. Poignant, thought provoking and has sparked an overwhelming amount of think pieces, harsh critique from all races, but in the midst of that a great amount of racial pride an a moment of feeling empowered at a time when many voices of color are being silenced permanently.
Pro Black does not equate to anti white. Celebrating ones culture, entertainment and at the same time reflecting a huge problem between the police and the black community does not have to be mutually exclusive. And as stated so eloquently by Nina Simone, ” An artist’s duty as far as I am concerned is to reflect the times.” This is exactly what Mrs. Carter did so eloquently and unapologetic. I applaud her gumption and audacity to use to her platform for such an important message. May her evolution continue and her art reflect that! I am here for it all.
(photos by www. colorlines.com)