PUNK: Beyoncé Unleashes Formation

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The Superbowl halftime show attracts upwards of 100 million viewers.

Hell of a time to unleash a defiant political song about being black in America.

A day before Beyoncé was scheduled to perform at Superbowl 50, she released “Formation”.

The video and song has been described as “unapologetically black“. Its release coming at a time of exploding racial tension. After a summer of police shootings, protests, and riots.

The video features powerful imagery:

  • a flooded New Orleans
  • a sinking New Orleans police car
  • a child in a hoodie dancing in front of a row of police
  • a wall painted with the words “Stop shooting us”

Some people condemned the video as anti-police. Beyoncé had none of it.

“Anyone who perceives my message as anti-police is completely mistaken. I have so much admiration and respect for officers and the families of officers who sacrifice themselves to keep us safe. But let’s be clear: I am against police brutality and injustice. Those are two separate things. If celebrating my roots and culture during Black History Month made anyone uncomfortable, those feelings were there long before a video and long before me. I’m proud of what we created and I’m proud to be a part of a conversation that is pushing things forward in a positive way.”

And, of course, Beyoncé stole the show at the Superbowl. She entered in a Michael Jackson-esque jacket with a line of black female dancers with Afros and Black Panther-style uniforms. She transformed an event that blends sports and commerce into a radical political act. Beyoncé brought black power to the Superbowl.

It forced white America to have a conversation about race. Much like Kanye West’s “George Bush doesn’t care about black people” line did in 2005.

Beyoncé slays.

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  1. Pingback: Tribes Redux | From guestwriters

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