And so Beyonce continues to make headlines again! Leading up to the Super Bowl, she surprised the world with a feminine touch of empowerment for the Black Lives Matter Movement in “Formation.” A Formation Tour, and more headlines to be made. And still, many people are bothered by this form of Black empowerment.
A picturesque, living art collage. As if one jumped into a Southern painting to experience the array of Black, colorful magic in New Orleans,’ African-American, cultural aesthetics.
The different genres of this culture are made apparent. The cinematography bridges the texture of reality to its fictional origin. And what becomes more intrinsic is how the Black, feminine, allure, sexuality, and visibility is proclaimed as the source of the revolution. Her sexuality as desirable, attractive, and reproductive, is the power of the revolution. Perhaps, such is the cause and reason for the protests against the video. Igniting a fire, where Black, female sexuality is honored, revered, and seen as a medicine of healing for the community.
Art and the expression of female sexuality are essential pillars in sustaining growth, and healing of any community. Examining the herstory of ancient, Nilotic women in East Africa (especially, those daughters of the Nile), the highlighting of female sexuality and its connection to healing, love, reproductive health, and access to the spiritual world is the basis of strength for African communities.
In examining the art of ancient Egypt, and the Spirit of dance, one is sure to observe the higher self, sisterhood, and connection of community that came with such. For Beyoncé to showcase the sexual power and authority (through her lyrical artistry) of southern, Black, New Orleans womanhood, is a reflection of ancient, Nilotic women, and their role as gatekeepers to the power of sexuality.
One of the major defeats for ancient, Nilotic communities was the invisibility of the Black woman. Furthermore, her body was depicted as removed from normal femininity, through colonialism and foreign invasions. The bodies of Nilotic women became symbolic as the source for sexual deviance, moral corruption, and the demise of men. A total reversal from how her original nature was celebrated. The racial hierarchy of womanhood placed her at the bottom-relegating her away from the very word of woman. The spiritual and magical realness of her being went unspoken. Painted as if it never existed. And the feminine voice of Nilotic communities was silenced. Revolution and freedom against imperialism, enslavement, and colonialism has been seen through Black men’s leadership and narrative.
Such was the case for the Civil Rights Movement, 1970’s Black Power Movement, and even the current Black Lives Matter Movement; where the imagery of Black men takes center stage. Again, where is the imagery of Black women’s sexuality as a spiritual, cultural, and creative entity for the sustaining and reproduction of community? Her preservation of identity and cultural representation?
And such is the breakthrough and phenomenon of “Formation.” Conversations have taken place on Beyoncé’s wearing of blond hair, while leading a sea of Black flowers. That is for another piece. However, what cannot be denied is this. Beyoncé’s latest masterpiece indicates that Black women’s sexuality, femininity, womanhood, and her celebration is the theme for Black lives and Black empowerment. A revival of the Black, feminine presence, revival of the Black maiden and bringing balance to the garden, becomes the epitome of revolution.