Barely two weeks ago, the world stopped as Beyoncé Giselle Knowles-Carter, more affectionately known as Queen Bey, wrecked pure havoc on White America with her tribute to the Black Panther party at the 50th Super Bowl halftime show. Performing “Formation,” the song she dropped only hours before her performance challenged Black America to do one thing and one thing only, which is GET IN FORMATION.
For those of you wondering if her statement was necessary, or worse, wondering if it was simply a publicity stunt, please stop. There are plenty of ways for Beyoncé to get publicity (i.e. Drop a random album no one knows about, Have a baby, Be Beyoncé , etc.) Let’s not be petty. There can be many different means to an end and in relation to social justice, our history tells countless stories of Black people with affluence making a statement for justice.
What better way to use your affluence than by making a statement to empower those who are marginalized? In most cases, artists who stand up for issues are awarded medals and deemed courageous. Yet somehow, artists speaking out about injustices against Black people in America seem to cause the exact opposite reaction. People actually threatened to protest the NFL headquarters after Queen Bey’s performance — although no one showed — how tragic is that?
All Beyoncé seemed to be saying was — “Hey, I’m Beyoncé, I’m Black, I’m proud and I slay. Come slay with me.”
Little did you know — 2016 is the year of being unapologetically Black. Beyoncé may have slayed the Super Bowl but she’s not the only one making a statement for the betterment of Black people. As astonishing as Queen Bey was, dressed in all black with her all black dancers, raising fists, and taking names, she’s not alone.
While you were sleeping, Usher, Jermaine Dupri, and Killer Mike decided to “bank Black” and encourage others to join them. Killer Mike made the statement, “We’re banking small, banking local, banking Black! Small because they’re here and they’re personable; Local, because you can get to your money quick, and Black because that’s what we are.”
While Beyoncé was kicking butt at the Super Bowl, Mr. Carter donated $1.5 Million to the Black Lives Matter Movement through his corporation, Tidal.
Last but not least, Kendrick Lamar, who has had a political message since he came on the scene, won a grammy for arguably one of the Blackest albums in the history of the Grammy’s. Needless to say, while you were watching Queen Bey, you may have just seen the tip of the iceberg that is the revolution. Stay tuned.