Ladies in Formation: Beyonce’s Battle Cry for Women of Color

February 8, 2016

In the begining there was silence, and then, all at once, a whole new world emerged from nothing. Beyonce spent all of 2015 under the radar and has finally surfaced yet again. And she has quite a lot to say from her quiet year. The singer has recently released a new single, “Formation” that headlines some rather political current events like police brutality, natural disasters, and the Black Lives Matter movement.  

 

The five minute long music video is jam-packed with eye opening issues such as a drowning cop car (possibly during Hurricane Katrina) a child dancing in front of a line of policemen dressed in riot gear, an old scene of women depicting black financial power, and even a guest appearance of her daughter, Blue Ivy, dancing around to her mom’s catchy anthem. Other scenes include an old, run-down neighborhood, driving in donuts around a parking lot, a heated church service, an empty swimming pool, and a lively parade. The video shows these scenes in a somewhat chronological order as we see the results of the actions at the end of the clip.  

 

Beyonce’s genius conclusion to the video ties everything together as she is shown laying atop the flooded cop car and becoming  completely submerged in water from the hurricane, the policemen holds up their hands and surrender to the black child innocently dancing in front of them, and finally, portrayed as a wealthy African American woman from decades ago, Beyonce waves farewell to the viewers with her pearly white umbrella as the scene turns to black and we are all left to contemplate what exactly we just witnessed.  

 

The alluring choreography that was conducted by all African-American females can suggest that Beyonce is sending out a message to all black women to “Get in formation” and follow her to success and freedom. She is also using the settings in the video to remind everyone where she came from by referencing numerous different aspects of black culture. She knows the large amount of power and fame she possesses and she seems to be transitioning from mainstream songs about sex, alcohol, and drugs, and opening a whole new world of opportunity with implementing such serious issues into a completely aesthetically pleasing music video. Her long year of silence has finally ended and exploded with issues that matter to everyone and also takes a stand with an crystal clear statement: black lives matter and we will rise. 

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