While I have never been a fee-paying member of the Beyhive, I have solidly been Team Destiny’s Child and later on Team Beyonce right from their debut hit No No No. The last few years have been less than impressive for me (I have never listened to Drunk In Love in full more than once and that’s no accident), but that has never taken away from my respect and admiration for this hardworking woman.
Formation was released smack in the middle of the afternoon yesterday and the Beyhive (and even casual visitors to the Beyhive) lost their collective minds because…Beyonce sang a song stating to the world that she was black and likes doing black things.
True, a lot of the lyrics were simply about her living her life and not giving a damn what people thought of her, her money, her lifestyle or her daughter’s hair, but this is not why Black America went gaga.
Black America was in formation right behind Queen Bey because she sang lyrics like“My daddy Alabama. Mama Louisiana. You mix that negro with that Creole make a Texas Bama”
and said things like “When he fuck me good I take his ass to Red Lobster”
She finally addressed people coming for her baby Blue Ivy’s hair by saying: “I like my baby hair with baby hair and afros”
and the ultimate proof of Blackness: “I got hot sauce in my bag. Swag”
Black Americans need to feel that their own folk are down with The Struggle, are not sell-outs and understand what it means to be Black in ‘post-racial, we-see-no-colour-even-though-lots-of-Blacks-are-getting-killed-daily’ America, and it would seem that Mrs Carter simply tapped into the zeitgeist and ran with it, especially seeing as some have said that she and her husband had been deafeningly quiet during all the racial tension in that country recently.
So, smart cookie that she is, Queen Bey released a song – 6 days into Black History Month and the day after what would have been Trayvon Martin’s 21st birthday – celebrating all things Black and throwing back to the tragedies of Hurricane Katrina.
I can’t say much about this: the truth and way of life for many Black Americans is something that I have no experience of but shudder with rage and helplessness over each time I see it on the news or The Daily Show.
Two Black American blogs that I have a lot of respect for: Very Smart Brothas and Awesomely Luvvie (a Yoruba lady, you guys!) had reeeeally positive reviews over the song and the video, so if they like it, then I love it.
But…and there’s a but. I remember a friend making a comment about George Takei when the marriage equality bill was passed in the US. He, a Nigerian living in the States said something like “Perhaps now that the bill has been passed uncle George can come help us fight #BlackLivesMatter”
I responded that George Takei was just one part of Star Tek, but has used every connection he has, every platform he can muster, mastered social media in his 70s just so he could fight a cause that was dear to his heart. And we can’t even get Beyonce to make a speech following any of these deaths.
I understand that she has always donated generously to charities, Katrina being one that she’s always been passionate about, but…I dunno…I’d rather the Beyhive get in formation for more than just buying another single or concert ticket. While this song is catchy and interesting, now THAT would be exciting.
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