Hey there, Monday afternoon Internet. Are you still recovering from a wings-and-Budweiser hangover? (Note: Was not paid to name that beer brand specifically.) Or maybe you're dealing with whiplash after trying to recreate the dance moves from Beyoncé's video/Super Bowl performance of "Formation," the new Black Lives Matter-soaked single she dropped on Saturday -- a track whose lyrics we all knew, because she's Beyoncé, by the time of her performance on Sunday.
I have written about Beyoncé before, and it should come as no surprise that I generally believe she's a force for good in the world. She is not without fault, but she is undeniably a marvel of an entertainer as well as a consummate businesswoman. I also think she's expanding notions of what pop music can be, the ways it can shape culture and drive much-needed conversation, and using her platform at the top of the charts in a more interesting and impactful way than perhaps any artist in the last 30 years.
That said: I don't want to hear my own Beyoncé opinions right now. And, while some of my favorite music writers are white, I don't want to hear their Beyoncé opinions either. To be clear, I understand the impulse and obligation that major news channels have, when an artist drops a video as racially and politically charged as "Formation," to "translate" it for mainstream, confused, white audiences. But if there's one thing black feminism doesn't need, it's old white male music critics summarizing it in the hopes of making it more palatable.
With that in mind, instead of parsing each frame of Bey's new video or waxing poetic about what it means for most aggressively corporate, traditionally whitewashed sporting event in the country to have featured a Southern-born black woman singing about "negro" noses and Afros during the most-watched entertainment spectacle of the year, I'd like to use this space a little differently.