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How Beyoncé “Slayed” In Her New Video ‘Formation’ – a new look at the Black Lives Matter Movement and black female power

The release of Beyoncé’s new “Formation” music video has created a spark in social media responses and a rise out of those in opposition to the Black Lives Matter movement. Not only did she stir up talk about race and show us beautifully, powerful images representing black culture and black power, but she couldn’t have picked a better time to do it. Not only did she choose to grace us with her brilliant presence in the Black Lives Matter movement during Black History Month, but she also chose to drop her video on Trayvon Martin’s birthday. Beyoncé and her choice to debut her new, Black Lives Matter centered video during Black History Month and Trayvon Martin’s birthday help paint the picture of the Black Lives Matter movement and black culture, as well as shining a light on black feminism. Through powerful images and lyrics, we let Yoncé “slay” us with some knowledge during this Black History Month.

As we all know, the month of February is dedicated to remembering the history of blacks in America; both their suffering and their triumph. In Beyoncé’s new “Formation” video we are taken back to New Orleans with clips from the 2005 Hurricane Katrina disaster. After the hurricane, many people, especially poor blacks, were almost completely abandoned by a government without a plan of action. The image of Beyoncé on top of a police car submerged in water is her symbolic way of representing the lack of support the black community has, even still today, by government and police. Although many whites are saying that she is throwing her middle finger to the police, she is doing so within reason. She is not doing this as a way to completely disrespect the government, but more of a way to exemplify how the government and police haven’t supported blacks in the past and still continue not to. In the midst of the Black Lives Matter movement, and during Black History Month, Beyoncé calls attention to this trend.

As if Yoncé hadn’t already killed it with the image of the cop car sinking, we also see the strong image of a black boy dancing in front of a line of police officers and then the words “Stop shooting us” tagged on a wall. This black boy dancing in his black hoody not only takes us back to Trayvon Martin, but we also see the police officers putting their hands up, which directly relates back to Ferguson, as if they are being threatened with his dancing. After we see the officers with their hands up, the shot goes over to the wall. The message there is very obvious, but Beyoncé seems to keep bringing up these things that have happened in more recent black history almost as if to remind us that the efforts made during the Black Lives Matter movement and the tragedies that have occurred will live on and be remembered for the next Black History Months to come.

Another powerful component of Yoncé’s new song is the focus on black feminism, something that is often forgotten. The images of the women in the video wearing their natural hair in afros, including her daughter, are the first symbol of black feminism. She is showing black women to own our bodies and the parts of us that we are taught to hide and to change. Beyoncé is taking stereotypes that are put on black women and turning them into beauty. She reminds us to take what’s ours and that we deserve to be just as successful as any white woman. Likewise, the lyrics “ok, ladies, now let’s get in formation” symbolize the idea of black women assembling together to make a difference and to help. It also represents being at the forefront of the movement at whatever the cost. Throughout history, black women have been laying down their lives for the lives of black men at any cost in order to help progress the equality of blacks as a whole. Beyoncé is truly unifying all black women and calling them to the front of the battle lines.

Queen B has done it again. This Black History Month we can’t all help but bow down to her ability to put out so much knowledge in one single video. “Formation” is truly the anthem of the movement and the anthem of black women everywhere.

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