Perspectives: Beyonce's 'Formation' Is a Major Stride in Activism for #BlackLivesMatter

Beyonce, Formation video

Beyonce has been known in the past to drop unexpected records in the wee hours of the night. However, her latest instant hit wasn't just any track that she dropped. No. For black people it was so much more than that. What am I talking about? Well, the release of Beyonce's controversial, surprise video, "Formation." Already an anthem in the making.

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This video gave testimony to the message that we've been trying to send through Black Lives Matter. But we are often faced with consequences or criticized and rebutted with nonsense turnarounds like "All Lives Matter." ("Nonsense" because recent events have made clear that it's just not the case.) "Formation" is a cry for us to be appreciated (and even credited) on everything from our lives to our curly Afros and dance moves -- basically, all things black (ahm, twerking did NOT start with Miley).

This powerful song is a modern-day negro spiritual, an ode that alludes to the fact that we haven't come that far since the civil rights era -- truthfully, we're living in it like we never left it to begin with.

She illustrates these painful yet realistic messages the entire length of the video with graffiti that reads "stop shooting" and lines like "I like my baby hair with baby hair and Afros" to accompany a plethora of black young women rocking their natural locks, including little Blue and Bey herself.

The fact that she dared to perform this during the Super Bowl 50 halftime show, with her dancers coordinated in Black Panther costumes despite the possibility of backlash, well, that was just an added plus. We couldn't be more proud of Queen Bey for taking a stance for the black community -- for not allowing us to be silenced once more.

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Sadly, many were oblivious to the fact that race issues have still been greatly at play, until media coverage increased with incidents like what happened to Sandra Bland, Mike Brown, and Trayvon Martin (who would’ve been 21 on February 5 of this year). In fact, I don't think it was a coincidence that Bey premiered this video with an oh-so obvious tribute to Trayvon during his birthday weekend. The thing is, these are just the blatant acts of crimes committed against black people.

It's safe to say that she also brings up the not-so-obvious acts against our race, such as what happened with Hurricane Katrina -- the tragedy that left a predominately black community both figuratively and literally drowning after the fact. And now, in the wake of the Flint water crisis, Bey has announced that her Formation World Tour is going to be partnering with the Community Foundation of Greater Flint to provide support for the people of the community.

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I can only hope that this will give more black entertainers the courage to use their voices and platforms to speak out against the unjust fits of violence and the hidden agenda that constantly targets black lives.

 

Kiarra SylvesterKiarra Sylvester is a New York-based writer whose work has appeared on Huffington Post, Yahoo, and YourTango. All opinions here are her own.



Image via Beyonce/YouTube

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