Performances Cause Uproar
Hang on for a minute...we're trying to find some more stories you might like.
Email This Story
With Kendrick Lamar’s Grammy performance and Beyonce performing at the Super Bowl, we look at a new era for black protest music.
Both performances this past month displayed intense and vivid emotion towards racial inequality and the rights of people of color. Even though both performances were powerful and nevertheless unforgettable, a lot of criticism has been sparked about the intentions and appropriateness of Lamar and Beyonce’s performances.
Lamar’s performance was faced with criticism more through Twitter than on actual websites. Here are a few tweets regarding Lamar’s performance:
“What was strong or powerful or anything about that performance? Awful” – anon
“Of course the best Rap Album of the year goes to one of the most RACIST dudes out there… Kendrick Lamar” – anon
“Hey Kendrick, if you obey the law… you won’t go to prison. It doesn’t matter what color you are” – anon
“Kendrick Lamar does it and it’s called ‘art’, but if Justin Bieber performed with a bunch of black people in chains he’d be called ‘racist’” – anon
“Kendrick Lamar is trash; he won those Grammy’s so the white people won’t feel racist” – anon
“Racist much… slavery was OVER decades ago!” – anon
On top of Lamar’s performance, Beyonce’s performance is causing controversy via not only social media, but also some of the pop culture and news websites.
The controversy did not necessarily come from her new single “Formation,” but more from her backup dancers who were dressed as the Black Panthers. For those who don’t know, the Black Panthers were a short-lived, all black activist group formed in the mid-1960s. Unlike, Martin Luther King’s nonviolent methods of protest, the Panthers felt the need to take a more violent approach. With Beyonce portraying the black activist group, a lot of people felt that it was inappropriate. Many people compared the behavior of the Black Panthers to the behavior of the Ku Klux Klan, saying if Beyonce could display the Panthers then why can’t white people who still support the KKK, represent that.
As an African American, I do see both sides of the controversy. On one side, two black performers displayed very vivid struggles and the history of African American culture that was hard for America to digest, making some people uncomfortable.
However, on the other side, the black community has been struggling with the same problems for years now: discrimination, stereotypes, inequality, police brutality, you name it. With these issues still relevant today, America needs to know about it; America needs to be educated and aware that racism and prejudice is still happening every day, not just to the black community but other minorities as well. Jamilah King, a reporter for Mic.com, expressed her opinion about the performances.
“What’s clear is that black artists are no longer content to keep their political selves hidden. What’s also clear is that there’s long been an appetite for this brand of unapologetically black art, and we’ve finally entered a political moment where black artists don’t necessarily have to risk their careers to create and perform it,” said King.
People should view Kendrick Lamar and Beyonce’s performances as a way to keep America conscious about the issues at hand. If people want to continue shaming them for it, then that is their own personal problem. Instead of pushing these issues under the rug, we need America to face reality and finally take a stand once and for all.