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Investigation Related to the Black Lives Matter Movement

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    Beyonce broke the internet with her surprise release of Formation, a visual anthem that is unashamedly black, paying homage to a culture that was birthed in the south. With a style to be expected of one of the most influential women of the entertainment industry, Beyonce uses her powerful lyrics and artistry to invoke themes of female empowerment , queer influence, and the strength of the black south. Though she has often made political stances, this video has definitely taken the cake. Afros, Cornrows, Negroes and Creoles, this is the south that many african americans today identify with, and the south of our future. With the stroke of a pen, her lyrics reclaim the antebellum south and shows the strength of black influence, forcing viewers to see our struggle and our perseverance.

    The release of Formation is just as important as the content of the video itself. The video debuted a day before Beyonce was expected to perform at the Super Bowl halftime show, in the midst of black history month and the continuous controversy of football players taking the knee on the field. That day was also Trayvon Martin’s birthday, the day he would have turned twenty one, his death arguably being the one to launch the Black Lives Matter movement. Two days later would be the birthday of Sandra Bland, another african american whose violent arrest and death called for an investigation into her death. There’s no doubt that this release was intentional, making a statement that we will not be ignored. Formation shows us the beauty in our resistance in a scene where a young child dances in front of a line of police officers. He is dressed in all black, wearing jeans and a hoodie, performing as the officers watch stoically. It’s almost as if they are not paying attention to him until he suddenly lifts his hands in surrender, and the officers follow suit as the camera shift to a wall spray-painted with the words “stop shooting us”. This scene rings of the issue of police brutality and is an echo of the battle cry of riots in Ferguson, with thousands of protesters marching the streets chanting “Hands up, Don’t shoot.” It’s a war cry, a plea for us to change the norms that are our destroying our communities

    Continuing with the theme of the black south, Formation is the anthem of the resistance. There are scenes in which her and her dancers pay tribute to the Black Panther Party with raised fists and free spirited hair. The all black attire is a common theme, and as beyonce and her dancers perform they form the letter “X”, which appears to be a salute to activist Malcolm X. Though his views could be seen as extreme, it is fitting that his name alone is used to promote the pan-africanism, black self-defense and determination that fills each scene of Beyonce’s video.

    Along with her nod to the past, Beyonce also pays homage to her heritage. Her lyrics, “ My Daddy Alabama, Momma Louisiana, You mix that negro with that creole makes a Texas Bama” is a nod to her cultural background. She is proud of her southern heritage and of the mixed blood that makes her who she is today.

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    Investigation Related to the Black Lives Matter Movement. (2022, Apr 28). Retrieved from

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