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Getting into Formation: Beyoncé, The Affirmation of Blackness, & Black Women’s Agency over Their Bodies

Cherise Charleswell

Abstract


Beyoncé’s Formation music video and 2016 Super Bowl halftime performance represent a shift for the pop music icon, and are touted as her most politically-charged and socially aware work of her career; following the legacy of “movement music” that utilizes its platform to provide sociopolitical commentary. Despite notable and contradictory problems with the songs actual lyrics – colorism, classism – her Super Bowl performance and other images were revolutionary. Beyoncé defiantly, unapologetically, and without invitation, brought the topics of racism, sexism, misogynoir, police brutality, and the devaluing of Black lives onto one of the most-watched shows and biggest platforms in the United States; and into the homes of viewers worldwide. Providing powerful affirmations of Blackness, solidarity, as well as Black women’s agency over their careers, lives, and bodies.

Keywords


black; women; blackness; agency; formation; dancehall; racism; sexism; misogynoir; police brutality; colorism; classism

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ProudFlesh: New Afrikan Journal of Culture, Politics and Consciousness. ISSN: 1543-0855 (online).
Editor: Dr. Sonjah Nadine Stanley-Niaah.

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