By: Alyson Jurgovan
This year’s Super Bowl was one for the history books. Not only was it was the championship game’s 50th birthday, but Beyonce’s halftime performance brought something viewers have yet to see from a sporting event of that stature: black power.
Beyonce performed her new single “Formation” while dancers donned Black Panther Party berets and organized themselves into an “X” formation symbolizing human rights activist, Malcolm X.
Almost immediately, the performance received criticism from officials (Miami police voted to boycott Beyonce’s upcoming concert) and right-wing Internet commentators alike (many comparing the homage to the use of the Confederate flag.)
What this erroneous backlash failed to recognize is that the world’s biggest pop star honoring Bobby Seale and Huey Newton’s movement was not an act of racism, but an example of new wave protest in the face of a modern-day civil rights movement.
A sign that read “Justice for Mario Woods” was displayed during Beyonce’s performance. Woods, 26, was a man of color fatally shot 20 times, six times in the back, by San Francisco police.
Contrary to what some of the backlash has suggested, celebrating African Americans is not discriminating against white Americans. Why is it so offensive to let African Americans be great? It seems white Americans simply hate being excluded.
It is Black History Month. It is time to acknowledge that the biggest pop star in the universe is black. It is time to allow her to openly celebrate her culture. Perhaps in doing so, the rest of America will follow.