Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Beyonce & The Super Bowl 50 Movement

Photo courtesy of Beyoncé's Instagram page

What better time for me to have a much needed dialogue with you, than right now, when so many discussions are being had about popular culture and how it influences our perspective and daily lives?

Talk is still cheap without critical thinking and action.  I am excited to see so many people voicing their opinions and defending their points of view.  Defending your point of view makes you take a moment to think about why you feel the way you do.  Although we may not want to admit it, and also may not be doing a good job at it, it also forces us to take into consideration other people's point of view.  With that in mind, lets get started!!!

Super Bowl 50 reached its peak in views between 8:30 pm and 9:00 pm ET, when Coldplay, Bruno Mars, and Beyoncé hit the stage to perform the halftime show.  Just one day shy of this performance, Beyoncé released a video for her newest single "Formation".  The imagery of that video, along with its plethora of interpretations, made its way to the football field.

The imagery of the video touched on several topics that have been deemed "political" by media outlets.  Those topics include, but may not be limited to: Police Brutality, Black Lives Matter, Hurricane Katrina, Illuminati, Ethnic features (hair and noses), Feminism, and Capitalism.  I'm sure some may argue I left out some things or added a few of my own.  However, art is left up to interpretation, right?

So what's the big deal?  Some argue that Beyoncé did too much by displaying messages of "black pride" and police brutality on the Super Bowl Stage.  Former New York mayor, Rudy Giuliani, went so far as to say her performance was an attack on police.  As if to say, if "black lives matter" then police lives do not.

Some argue that Beyoncé did not do enough.  By merely placing these images in her video and coupling that video with song lyrics that don't entirely focus on the thoughts these images provoke, Beyoncé is not really an "activist". 

So what say you?  Did this new single and/or Super Bowl 50 halftime performance launch Beyoncé into the "activist " stratosphere?  Is her single just a power move on today's sensitive subjects, in an attempt to profit off of more serious movements?  Is she that desperate for a coin to do such a thing?  Should we just take the video and the performance for what it is, entertainment?  Is there a thin line between entertainment and activism?  Should we expect our entertainers to step in?  If they do, do you think we would ever be satisfied with the work that they do, being that they are entertainers first?

The day before Beyoncé released her video, Tidal, a music streaming company run by Beyoncé's husband Jay-Z, announced that they would be donating $1 million towards the "Black Lives Matter" movement.  Does that affect your opinion at all?

Leave your comments below!

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  1. Very good observation and expressions. I think "celebrities" have the attention (status) to attract many to a situation whether good or bad. Their art is often followed and copied by millions. They have opportunities to set examples and spread awareness on topics whether sensitive to society or not. We choose whether we give them such a responsibility or not. She is an entertainer. She's admired by many. Her art, whether she agrees with the message of it or not, is an eye opener.

    1. Agreed. I enjoyed her salute to Black History Month with a social awareness. With respect to her celebrity, Beyonce making this statement catches eyes and ears.

  2. Nice article. I look forward to reading more of this related to social matters.

  3. In all honesty, I praise Beyonce for the boldness of her political outreach while using the media as 167 million people (more than half of the population) watched the Superbowl 50. She was out on a brilliant mission to make a statement, not only of inequality but statements of justice. The performance was "Pro-Black" on purpose. Beyonce and Jay-Z have always been criticized for being detached from the black community. Leaving lifeless comments about a generation that's praises their existence. Well, what an arrangement to answer and seal all pressed views! Not only are they known for being a power couple and leaders of the music and entertainment industry, but now as leaders of our culture. However, the controversy came from the thoughts of the Black Panther movement. The Black Panthers suffered news reports that betrayed them as "Anti-White" when they were actually "Pro-Black." They approached police brutality and promoted positive-working programs in the black community. This is a sensitive topic since now in the 21st century, right in our backyards are the current day discussions revolving around police brutality in the Black Lives Matter movement.