Do you know what Beyoncé is really good at? Disrupting all of life. I had a serene & productive Saturday planned, but oh no, Queen Bey was not having that. You would think a midnight album drop in the middle of a cold, winter weekend in 2013 might never be topped, but oh no. On this fine Saturday morning, your favorite singer's favorite singer released the kind of audio/visual bomb that couldn't be ignored if you tried your fucking hardest.
From the lyrics to every scene in that unforgettable video, Formation is laced with political themes and feminist assertions. Most of all, Beyoncé unabashedly celebrates all that is her blackness.
I've been so busy at work and thus have a million thinkpieces about Formation and all of its ramifications bookmarked to read*. You better believe I'm gonna read every single one, too, because this is a conversation I want to get into.
Bey just came for white supremacist capitalist patriarchy &respectability politics while letting yall know we carry hot sauce at all times— Carolina Bama (@Awkward_Duck) February 6, 2016
It seems irresponsible to consider Formation only as "OMG FINALLY BEYONCE'S NEXT SINGLE WHEN IS THE TOUR TAKE ALL MY MONEY," (did you get your tickets, by the way?) or to love the video only because of the clothes and because Blue Ivy is so damn cute in it. Ever since Ferguson, we who are woke have been waiting for the celebrities we hold so dear to put their neck out there. I've been waiting for Beyoncé to say something, at least. I shouldn't have doubted it would come in due time, and in her own way.
There is no question now that Beyoncé is most definitely woke. She knew we were all waiting for her next move, and she took advantage of what might be her biggest platform ever at Super Bowl XL to make her opinions known. She's forced the uncomfortable conversations of race, feminism and police brutality into the mainstream light - in the middle of election season at that.
I can only imagine how the wheels are turning in the heads of those who adore Queen Bey but who have largely been out of the loop on Black Lives Matter and the rising tide of conversation around race and around feminism. It's okay to not know what was going on; it's not okay to pretend like it's not - or worse, that it doesn't affect you or anyone you know. Start somewhere (maybe it's here), keep reading, and stay engaged. Stay woke.
Always stay gracious, best revenge is your paper. And your influence.
*Here are all of the articles I have bookmarked. I'm still working my way through them. Enjoy!
- Beyoncé in ‘Formation’: Entertainer, Activist, Both?
- Beyonce Gets Political, and I Get Snatched Bald: An Overview of Themes and Motifs in the Formation Music Video
- Getting in Line: Working Through Beyonce’s “Formation”
- We Slay, Part I
- The Key Messages In Beyoncé’s ‘Formation’ on Black Lives & Feminism
- Formation Doesn’t Include Me — And That’s Just Fine
- White People: Shut Up About Beyonce
- Beyoncé Works Hard
- Beyoncé’s Halftime Show Inspires Ridiculous Criticism
- The designer behind Beyoncé's Super Bowl costumes speaks out
- 11 References You Missed in Beyoncé’s Formation
- Ladies, Now Let's Really Get Into Formation: How to Sustain the Movement Beyond the Media Moment
- Considering "Formation" And The Politics Of A Black Woman Pop Star
- the story of messy mya, the tragic voice on beyoncé’s new track
- A deep dive into the important, unapologetic blackness of Beyoncé's "Formation"
- Beyonce's Halftime Show Message