There was only one real winner of Super Bowl 50 this year, and she wasn’t even playing the game.
Beyoncé began preaching her message of powerful black feminism the night before the Super Bowl. Her newest music video, “Formation,” was released less than 24 hours before she was set to perform at the Halftime Show in Levi’s Stadium alongside fellow pop musicians Bruno Mars and Coldplay.
The video itself comes at a time when the phrase “Black Lives Matter” has become a very real, and very important, political statement. It’s almost hard to believe that even though there are around 27 million pieces of digital content shared online every single day, it was only recently — after far too many brutal and unjust murders of young black Americans — that the media began paying attention to the diversity and power of black culture.
And of course, there’s no one better than Queen Bey to be leading both the Black Lives Matter movement and the feminist movement — even when she doesn’t intend to. Her music video for “Formation,” as TIME reported, is “an act of black feminist world-making that imagines how black women can survive and create their own, unmatchable value.”
The video itself is a series of seemingly unrelated scenes to the naive viewer. First she’s sitting on top of a police car in New Orleans as it sinks into the floodwater of Hurricane Katrina. Next, Beyonce is seen in a tearoom with a group of women clothed in Colonial-era dresses as they fan themselves elegantly. Next there’s a scene of a young black boy dancing in front of a line of police officers who have their hands raised.
It’s actually all related, and each tiny scene represents an important piece of black culture that the media isn’t always so concerned with representing accurately.
Things only got better when Bey stepped out onto the football field the next day. Her powerful performance is what The Guardian says “might be the most radical political statement from the superstar in her 20-year career.”
Backup dancers wore black leather clothes and berets, symbolic of the Black Panthers. The dancers were photographed after the performance with their fists in the air.
Beyoncé and her crew naturally performed “Formation” during the game. The power of their performance was something that the media can’t stop talking about.
But now we want you to keep the conversation going. What are your thoughts on the Halftime Show and on the “Formation” video?