For the past three days, trolls, facebook finger thugs, and stacy dash tendency folks around the world have cried blasphemy, reverse racism, and Super Bowl injustice against what was once and still is (unbeknown to them) one of the most loved, talented, and influential artists of all time:
To me, it makes perfect sense:
For the first time, in a long time, one of the biggest stars in the world released a record that America could not relate to, understand, but most importantly, couldn't steal.
Now if you’re here to talk about "we are the world", racism, lyrical content, natural hair vs lace wigs, illuminati, publicity, the KKK, Obama, or anything of that matter, you can exit stage left, right, center, and through the floor.
Not only is this post not for you, (just like "Formation") but you literally may not be able to comprehend where I’m about to unapologetically take this, so I’m just going to go on right ahead and give you a pass, now.
As an African American Woman- first generation Nigerian, to be exact- I have been explaining my identity, culture, name, shape, hair texture, hips, lips, thoughts, personality, feelings, and DNA to people who don’t look like me, my entire life.
I’ve been teased, taunted, objectified, but most recently, appropriated by a world that loves everything about me, my music, my culture, and body shape, as long as it can be replicated and reproduced into a form that doesn’t require any accountability, apologies, or acknowledgement- as long as it can be reproduced into something that makes the “average American” feel comfortable.
Currently, I live in Los Angeles, California, where women alter their bodies so their behinds are larger, their lips are fuller, and their man of choice is an actor, athlete, rapper, or in aspiration of all three, while they, themselves, hope to score big and become the next Kardashian, who in real life just wants to look like... nevermind.
Everyday, I read beauty blogs and fashion magazines, confused when I see designers debuting “new” hair styles, fabrics, textiles, and “trends” that are near and dear to African, Caribbean, or Black Culture, with no acknowledgement of it’s origin or existence.
Same sex couples and citizens of America can finally have parades and are supported by heterosexuals and politicians with hidden agendas.
Bruce Jenner is now Caitlyn Jenner, and has won more awards as such than the former while gaining the support of feminist and trans people alike.
Beyonce is called a racist because she reminds the world that she is still very much proud of her heritage and will not allow people to kill our offspring unjustly, or dub our bootylicious features as a Hollywood must-have.
Meanwhile, a confederate flag that was waving at the South Carolina Capitol was just removed yesterday, oops I mean in 2015, and yet, pro-blackness, which has never meant anti-whiteness, is “the” problem.
To be completely honest, Antone Dodson could have been on that Super Bowl stage, and my feelings would have been the same.
What happened up there and in that video was bigger than one person.
It literally united every Black Girl who has been taught to hate herself, her looks, her origin, her roots, if nothing else, for one day.
For every girl who thought their negro nostrils were too big, their hair texture was unmanageable, or not presentable.
For the girl who dreams of looking “exotic” because that is what many of our men are finding desirable. For the girl who's told her name, accent, or taste is too ghetto.
Who is told her personality is way too serious because she is concerned and speaks out towards social injustice.
Baby, you can’t steal that.
Aint enough Instagram filters with rap lyrics as a caption in the world where you can steal that type of authenticity.
And I know you don’t want to.
It’s an upbeat song, but there is pain behind that video and those lyrics-a pain that no one wants to inherit, but we, in this community, have carried since the beginning of time.
Upbeat negro spirituals were sung while slaves were moving their way out of the underground rail road and slave ships, but this isn’t about freedom.
For once, you can’t remix, replicate it, or swipe it with a fleek, slay, or yaaaaas
The message is clear as day:
Black People are not erasable..
Black Culture moves mountains.
Black Women are beautiful, as is.
It is what it is.
And as selfish as it may sound, I feel so proud that for once I can wake up in the morning and look at this video, knowing that this belongs to me.
This pain belongs to me.
And for once, no one can steal it.