Did Beyoncé just re appropriate black culture and legitimise the Afro?

Monday, February 08, 2016



The Naturalution has been in full swing now for some 9 - 10 years. Many women have tried it, hated it and gone back to their previous styles, some have embraced it and some still struggle. High profile celebrities like Solange and Viola Davies made you feel like it was OK to be a black and a woman and wear your hair the way out grows out of your head. Something many still struggle with, because well our hair is different. But in recent years it has felt like we are nearly at a point where the next generation will no longer have to apologise for their hair, or be afraid that it is messy or unprofessional.

So when the internet went all kinds of crazy yesterday for Beyoncés 'Formation' I am not sure what prompted me to actually take a look. Probably a comment about the imagery or the fashion.  I'm not a fan I rarely watch music videos, and sorry what? Beyonce who? Ain't nobody got time for that! You have to bear in mind I haven't seen a Beyoncé video since 'Baby Boy' with Sean Paul was on MTV. I know I have been out of the loop a really long while.

The video was dedicated to the #BlackLivesMatter campaign, it's loud, it's crass, there is far too much gyrating and swearing for me but the imagery, the fashion, I cant believe I actually loved it and the Super Bowl performance with the stylish black panther dancers with afros and berets. OMG! I was like did Beyonce just take 'Black' back!



Beyonce's Formation
Please note you should be over 18 to watch this video and if you are over 18 it is not for the faint of heart. I have chosen not to share it here because of this.
To watch the video check out Black Girl Long Hair 
15 Black Cultural References in Beyonce’s ‘Formation’ Video You Might Have MissedClick Here

Black Americans have started talking about cultural appropriation a lot recently. Where white artists sing songs dressed in sterotypical black 'ghetto' styles and sing what would be called 'black' songs and behave like they are what many stereotype as 'black' but they then don't care about black issues or problems that face black people in the poorest areas of America, the people they are trying to emulate. Being black shouldn't be treated like it is a fashion accessory, I cant just take my black off, it is a part of me, not an accessory.

Beyonce has never been political before and calling her sexually charged dance moves feminism,  well... that never really sat well with me. This new video is all kinds of ...well.. lewd, you couldn't let your kids watch it. But it made a statement! A big one. Many related to The New Orleans Police Department switched off the Super Bowl during half time as they found what Beyonce was singing about and the video offensive and anti police. In the video she is sat atop a New Orleans Police car which at the at the end sinks into New Orleans post Katrina flood waters.

I am no Beyonce fan and of course she is going to make a ton of money from this and many wiill say she is using this just to get rich of the struggle etc etc but what made this video seem important to me is that both black and white fans will see this. People will hate it, People will love it but most of all people will talk about it. They are always talking about Beyonce anyway so why not for the right reasons

Beyonce owned being black! Hot sauce, and all and she did it in such a stylish way. Having large nostrils and an afro may all of a sudden not be something to be ashamed of. We need more main stream artist to do this. They have the ear of a nation and in some cases the ear of the world.


My favourite bit

"I love my baby heir, with baby hair and afro" 

Blue Ivy!!! with her unapolgetic gorgoeus curls, she slayed.

I had just finished watching a video from BuzzFeed about why every black history month in America there is always someone who asks 'Why there isn't a white history month'. Black History Month in the UK is celebrated in October and we need our kids to understand that they are important too. Its not about celebrating the colour of your skin. Its about being OK with the colour of your skin, especially when you are told on a daily basis that because of your skin colour you don't matter. Most of my white friends don't get racism. To them racism doesn't exist  and I get that because for them racism doesn't exist. They have never experienced it or seen it happen in their little middle class bubbles. I get that, but if I tell you that I personally experienced racism don't make out that I am crazy because that wouldn't happen. Experiencing things like that daily can really make you feel insignificant.


Well for me Beyonce tried to take black back and re-appropriated her culture. I was quite amazed by it really. People always attack her for a blonde weave and the fact that she looks almost white in most photos or videos. But guess what black comes in many shades and people have the right to do whatever they want with their hair.

And the afros in the Video, all I can say is YASSSS!!! Gurl! I love it!

Edit: I also love how the white media are generally saying "Big Up Beyonce" and I keep seeing comments from black people saying " A weh she come from all of a sudden". You know what, at least she bothered. We love to find fault with everything, but we can't seem to celebrate a simple declaration of "Young, Gifted & Black, that's where it's at" for the modern era.

So did you love it, hate, think she could have done the same video with far less gyrating. 
Leave a comment!

Embrace your Inner AfroDeity 
Leilu

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