Beyoncé is celebrating being black. She is celebrating being a woman. She is celebrating not being afraid. Those who are claiming racism should take a look at…
Beyoncé is colloquially known as ‘Queen Bey’ and commands a very large and loyal fan base. So when she took the super bowl stage, naturally as a Beyoncé fan I was excited to watch her perform alongside Bruno Mars and Coldplay. However, as could be expected Beyonce stole the show, on this occasion in more ways than one. With references to the Black Lives Matter movement, Malcolm X and the Black Panthers, Beyoncé’s half-time show at the Super Bowl on Sunday February 6th 2016; might be the most radical political statement from the superstar in her 20-year career.
Defiantly and regally performing her latest single; Formation, Beyoncé was the epitome of resilience, beauty and strength. Her Backing dancers wearing Black Panther-style berets and clad in black leather were later photographed after the performance posing with raised fists evocative of the black power salute by Tommie Smith and John Carlos at the 1968 Olympic Games in Mexico City.
What happened that night has led to multiple reactions across the world from “it was racist/anti cop.” to “she was making a statement that needed to be heard.” Beyoncé’s performance was not racist. I repeat, for those of you hell bent on claiming reverse racism, she was not being racist. What Beyoncé did that night was get a very important message out. The date of the super bowl just happened to coincide with the date in history the Black Panther Party was established. With what has been happening in regards to the African American community in the United States in recent times, it seemed only right to honor the group in front of one of the largest audiences in America. Beyoncé was simply saying what needed to be heard. Her dancers were doing the same. The composition of her backing dancers was necessary to give clarity and singularity to her message on the plights of African- Americans in the United States.
Honoring the Black Panther Party was not anti-cop either. It is odd how the confederate flag, with its history as a banner of systematic oppression and discrimination of African Americans is something that should be protected and praised whilst a group that fought for civil rights of the marginalized within American society should be pushed to the way side. It is also worrying that the KKK is something people are told to think isn’t real anymore. This is despite numerous appearances by members at protests and on social media. Conversely, there is a concerted effort by some in the media to sideline the Black Panthers with some even suggesting that even an organization that champions the rights of African American’s like the Panthers should not exist.
If you listen to the lyrics of formation, Beyoncé is celebrating being black. She is celebrating being a woman. She is celebrating not being afraid. Those who are claiming racism should take a look at celebrities and media over history and tell me what color and gender you see being praised and which one forgotten.
Another topic of discussion about Beyoncé’s Super Bowl Halftime performance has been the attire worn. There are people who are saying her attire and dance were too sexualized. This is what Beyonce and her girls were wearing that night.
Do you see anything sexual about their attire? Their cleavage is covered, and they are wearing shorts. They are actually paying homage to Michael Jackson by wearing the military style jacket, and are dressed to dance around a stage. What I see is people trying to sexualize black women.
Bruno Mars was dressed in all black as well, sending the same messages as Beyoncé. Coldplay was dressed and white and other colors. Coldplay had a message too. It was LGBT positive and something we also needed. But notice how the lead singer of Coldplay is white male, and everyone praised him. This selective choice of praise and criticism highlights exactly the discrimination and vilification of those who stand up for the rights of African Americans. But there was a message that had to be delivered and boy did Beyoncé Knowles Carter stand proud and deliver it.
Image credits: National Football League
Video Credit: Online Trending
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