Is the problem the messenger or the message?

Posted by Kazemde Ajamu on Feb 13th 2016

The debate rages on in Black America about Beyonce’s new song “Formation” and her Super Bowl half time performance. I have to admit that I have never been a big Beyoncé fan. Whether or not she got permission from the powers to be, whether she is just doing this for the fame and money, whether this is just another attempt to distract us from what is really going on, since Sunday, the debate has centered on Beyoncé. These are valid observations and should be examined. However we also shouldn’t over think this.

Regardless of what may be the motives of Beyoncé or the powers to be, this is what we do know. The new single “Formation” is,
1. An affirmation of her Blackness, and
2. Where she is in her own consciousness.

“My daddy Alabama, Momma Louisiana. You mix that Negro with that Creole make a Texas bamma.
I like my baby hair, with baby hair and afros.
I like my Negro nose with Jackson Five nostrils.
Earned all this money but they never take the country out me.
I got hot sauce in my bag, swag.”

These lyrics, she’s celebrating her daughter's beautiful hair and husband's strong African features, which many blacks who live in America have made fun of through countless memes.

The halftime performance celebrated the Sisters of the Black Panther Party on the 50th Anniversary (1966) of the movement in their Black attire, Afros and raising the Black Power Salute. Furthermore, the “Formation” of the “X” on the field, representing Malcolm X was on display for over 100 million viewers to see. The dancers, directly after their performance, took pictures with the Black Power Salute AND brought attention to the murder of Mario Woods by San Francisco Police on December 2, 2015.

Let’s look at some other things she has done in our community:

-Made funds available for Black families of Flint, Michigan that their State wants to eradicate by poisoning their community water supply with lead

-Builds a $7 million housing complex for the homeless in Houston, Texas
-Has been financially connected to ‪#‎BlackLivesMatter‬ and other movements

We all start somewhere in our growth and development becoming aware of systemic racism and its effects on our community. Don’t throw the baby out with the bath water.
This past weekend had several entertainers speaking out about injustices to include actors and actresses at the NAACP Image Awards.

Massive demonstrations took place leading up to the Super Bowl seeking Justice for Mario Woods. Alicia Keys in her Pre-Super Bowl performance began her show seeking justice for him and affirming Black Lives Matter.

Alicia Keys spoke further about police brutality at the concert, becoming more personal. She said, “As the mother of two black sons, it breaks my heart to see what we’ve been seeing. The killings we’ve been seeing on camera. And all the people that we’ll never see. Black lives matter. And we all… we all of every color need to come together to end systemic racism.”

As the entire festival cheered, Keys added a parting shot before starting her next song.
“And I tell you what.” Keys said. “We better get it right, because karma is a bitch!”

I have to ask the question, is the problem the messenger or the message? Let’s get out of the weeds with this one….

Get into “FORMATION!” The Struggle continues.