by Alexandria Ligon ('16)
The song and its accompanied music video were spontaneously released on February 7th, just the day before the Super Bowl. Both the song and the video are filled with unapologetic black pride and powerful political messages. So consequently, the song and video have been deemed “controversial.” Anti-Beyonce protests, hate messages, and much more backlash swarmed the media once the video released.
One must also keep in mind that Beyonce’s daughter is a young black girl herself. With Formation, Beyonce has started to create a platform for her daughter, and other very young black girls to confidently and unapologetically be themselves.
Not only does the song promote black beauty, but it also promotes female empowerment in general. “I dream it, I work hard, I grind ‘til I own it” is a line in the song’s chorus that women of all backgrounds can embrace.
Another concern is that Beyonce’s video is anti-police. One with this concern must remember: America has a police brutality issue. Beyonce is not making such a strong statement to disrespect police, just to speak out against police brutality.
One scene near the end of the video features a young black boy hip-hop dancing in front of a line of armed police. Once the boy finishes dancing, the police raise their hands in surrender. Immediately following the scene, a message appears on the screen that says “Stop shooting us.” The message is synonymous with the message “black lives matter.” This scene is not anti-police or anti-white, it is simply pro-black. And the promotion of one culture is not equivalent to the slander of another.
Before bashing the video, one must take a step back and evaluate why Beyonce felt the need to create such a video. The video provides positive representation for black women of all ages, promotes female empowerment, and speaks out against police brutality.
Hopefully people of all backgrounds can learn to support Beyonce’s message in Formation, as it is one of positivity.