By Ramatu Mohammed
The last time Beyoncé performed at the Super Bowl she wore black leather too, stripping clothes off leaving fans frantic and in excitement. This was three years ago.
This past Super Bowl she wore black leather alongside her army dancers as she performed during the halftime show. This time there was something extremely different about Beyoncé’s performance, though, as she used her platform to make a political statement.
Her dancers had afro hair, black berets, and continuously placed their right hand in the air as a symbol of black power. Some had no clue of the significance of the performance, but later it all became clear. In wearing their outfits, the performance paid reverence to the Black Panthers’ movement and the 50TH anniversary of it’s founding. The X formation was an intentional tribute to Malcolm X. Beyoncé’s performance was to honor the modern day Panthers in opposition to racism in America. This is a current issue seen today which led to the Black Lives Matter movement being formed.
This performance seemed to be very controversial across the Internet and left some people in an outrage, while others were quite happy as Beyoncé used this platform. Those furious argued that the Black Panthers, even though their cause was for equality and justice for African Americans, did turn to violence in times to be heard. Malcom X a significant leader for African Americans opposed the idealism of non-violence.
A time where most families tune in to watch the Super Bowl, no nudity such as prior wardrobe malfunction during the halftime performance, they believe the performance to be inappropriate due to the content of the message.
There were others who applauded Beyoncé’s “unapologetic blackness” to speak on such current issues that plague our country. There is no doubt that there have been many incidents of police brutality amongst African Americans and shootings being prevalent in the 21st century.
She performed a new song called Formation, only releasing it a day before the Super Bowl. Within the context of the video we the same theme of police brutality and racism. One scene in particular on the wall states “Stop shooting us” with an African American boy and a line of police officers.
Whether people hated the performance because of the underlying message or people loved it, it is important to recognize that artists, such as Beyoncé, have a voice. They sometimes are the most heard, reaching to the people of various age groups and ethnicities. There are some who are very outraged and so upset, while there are others who are in complete awe and love the singer even more. But, the most important factor is that people are talking about the issue which is what led to the performance showing the magnitude of her presence at the Super bowl, and just how effective it truly was.