It doesn’t take much convincing to acknowledge how iconic Beyoncé Knowles is as a performer and cultural phenomenon. Her creative genius has propelled her to heights (and a bank account balance) that very few could ever dream of and she stands tall as a symbol of black female excellence. However, Queen Bey has come under heavy fire on social media after the release of the trailer for her latest project, Black Is King.
Soon to be screened on Disney+, Black Is King is billed as a ‘visual album’, intended to celebrate the diversity and beauty of African art and culture. Put simply, at a time when social (in)justice is a hot topic around the world, the film is a celebration of all that is African.
The just-over one-minute long trailer promises a visual feast that attempts to pay homage to the rich tapestry of African visual art through the ages. Still, that hasn’t spared the Queen from being accused of harvesting African symbolism for her own gain without actually visiting Africa for any of what was shot.
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#Repost @hova_bey.carter with @get_repost ・・・ Joshua and Blitz are Ghanaian, KC is Nigerian, Hannah worked on Lemonade with B, Trevor is South African…There's way, way more involved in the making of Black Is King but my point in posting this is simply that those who are criticizing the film (before they even see it) saying it's unauthentic, upset that B doesn't actually go to Africa or say that Bey is simply using African cultures for gain are wrong because 1. She makes less with her Afrocentric content. 2. She's actually taken the time studied African costumes and such and didn't just throw this together. She's worked with actual African dancers, film makers, directors etc on this project so for some African Americans and Africans to say it's a facade is truly discrediting the work of their own people. 3. While people whine about her not touring in Africa yet beg for more African representation in entertainment but are mad that they're getting it from one the world's greatest stars is strange to me. They'd rather have B come and they spend their money for a show once or twice every few years rather than have someone of African descent work with African creatives to create art that celebrates them that will last forever and it be done at no cost to them.) #Beyonce #Beyoncé #BeyonceKnowles #BeyonceKnowlesCarter #QueenB #MrsCarter #Jayz #jigga #jiggaman #Hov #Hova #KingHova #ShawnCarter #TheCarters #beyonceandjayz #Jayonce #MrCarter #JayZandBeyonce #beyhive? #hovandb #JayandB #african #nigeria #blackexcellence #heritage #ghana #africa #director #
Some of the comments on social media have been blistering, claiming that Black Is King is inauthentic and just another example of a Westerner looking to score big at Africa’s expense. Cha-ching!
Those coming to Beyoncé’s defence, however, feel the harsh words aren’t called for and that she did, in fact, work with a talented collective of African artists whose individual work is now being put on the map because of their collaboration with her on this film.
What do you think? Is the Bey-bashing justified or do we need to give her a break?