As February turns into March, we must look back and reminisce on the most epic Black History Month we have had in terms of entertainment.
Let’s begin with how we kicked it off with the Queen herself: Beyonce. She dropped the music video “Formation,” in pure Beyonce fashion with no warning, the day before she was set to perform. This gave the BeyHive enough time to memorize the lyrics along with choreography. And what does she do next? Perform the brand new song on the Super Bowl stage. Wait there’s more: she announces her “Formation” world tour right after. Can you believe all of this only happened in the first week of February?
You would think it would be all praise for Beyonce. In contrast, it angered many “non-people of color.” They were more uncomfortable with the fact that she performed this song, which addressed issues relating to the aftermath of hurricane Katrina, #BlackLivesMatter, police brutality, and paid homage to the Black Panther Party. Basically topics that the Black community view as important, which is also portrays White America as unjustified.
The popular late night show Saturday Night Live made a skit that perfectly described the counter reaction that came from “Formation.”
Performances pertaining to racial issues in America did not stop there. Weeks later at the annual Grammy awards Kendrick Lamar took the stage with his piece. He performed “The Blacker the Berry” and “Alright” while walking onto the stage in chains with a background depicting prison. His lyrics targeted b
lack struggles and culture; you could feel the passion and emotion through the television screen.
Last but not least we wrapped up the short month of February with the Oscars. Months before, when Oscar nominations came out there was controversy on how none of the nominees consisted of any African Americans. Many in Black Hollywood took to boycotting, but with the host being Chris Rock a couple still showed up. It was noted that Rock scrapped his original act and made a new one with the uprising of the trending Twitter hashtag #OscarsSoWhite Twitter, which spoke on the fustration on the lack of diversity in Hollywood.
The Oscars hit on the issues of the racial inequity starting at the opening monolouge. Chris Rock directed the issue multiple times including when he stated, “It’s not about boycotting. We want opportunities, we want black actors to get the same opportunities as white actors – that’s it. Not just once.”
On a lighter note, this was also the night we retire all of the hilarious Leonardo DiCaprio Oscar snub memes because he has finally won his Oscar!
Black History Month 2016 definitely raised our blood pressure this year, but remember that just because February is over doesn’t mean it is time to stop educating yourself on African American history and issues.