Wednesday, February 10, 2016

"I Did Not Come To Play With You Hoes" ~ Big Freedia

Last Saturday Beyonce once again shocked the world with her new flawless video, Formation. While the beyhive (and some of it's secret members in hate) shared, gawked and just plain went crazy, I watched it and listened for half the day, not because I thought there was deeper meaning behind her lyrics but because I just wanted to take in all the Blackness in private. I wanted to ponder on things like what kind of hot sauce she carried, and if Big Freedia (my love, and spirit guide) liked collard greens with vinegar or spicy and corn bread made in a cast iron skillet. By the time I shared the video I was excited about the blackness of it all, I was ready to see Beyonce and her dancers step across the Super Bowl field and remind her people how times may be challenging but with Blackness comes awesomeness!  I also knew white people were going to have a whole lot of problems with it, but like every Black person I know I was straight out of fucks to give for white people and their sad ass fee-fees (shit y’all got Stacy Dash, go cry on her shoulder).

Sunday came, she delivered, I went to bed proud and ready to twirl on the haters. Monday greeted me with snow flurries, a bevy of annoying “think pieces”, black men discrediting her and black women engaging in colorism chatter, questioning of “real” blackness, comparing her to other black women in an effort to say one culture is better than another (look we get it you got off the boat FIRST)  and all I could do was sigh, a BIG FUCKING *SIGH* .   I understand the matrix, the need to be first so it can go viral and aspiring writers get discovered, but it's exhausting. I’ll admit I read a few well thought out posts and shared them, but by Monday evening I was too tired to care anymore. I just logged off and went back to reading “Assata” like I do every year.

By Tuesday I had resolved to initiate some self care and disengage from the Beyonce vortex that was consuming my social media pages. Real traumas were affecting black people and we were still discussing a damn video.  So I posted about Mardi Gras, continued my Facebook black history month post on the actual Black Panthers and the amazing things they did, and ignored the flood of posts. But I was taking mental notes, all the well meaning posts from white people, the anti Beyonce tweets, articles from the conservative right (Faux news we know you didn’t listen to the song)and realized it didn’t matter how much was written and shared about the video, or how many times white men and women spoke out and asked their people to stand down, the wrong conversation was being had. The message that was intended, “I wanted people to feel proud” was already lost.

The message that the Beyonce invoked simply by approving a black panther-esq costumes, and the call for us, Black People, to get into formation and coordinate our own, dream it, work hard until  we own it was completely lost. And that shit made me sad , sad as fuck! So no I won’t be sharing, liking, discussing “Formation” on these interwebs anymore. I'll be reading my worn and torn copy of Assata,  remembering what she actually taught me, reviewing the ten point program the Panthers lived and breathed and dreaming, working hard and grindin' 'til WE own it.

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