Beyoncé’s ‘Black Is King’ – The Poster Girl For Blackness?

‘Black is King’ is the zenith of Beyoncé’s career as an embodiment of black empowerment and excellence. Yet, how do we perceive this newest release with what we have come to expect from the Queen?

In the early hours of the morning on July 31, 2020, Beyoncé released ‘Black is King,’  a visual film and musical album which serves as a visual companion to the 2019 album, ‘The Lion King: The Gift,’ a tie-in album curated by Beyoncé for the 2019 remake of The Lion King.

This extensive body of work, described by the Queen herself as, ‘a labour of love,’ is an ode to black existence and power. It is a testament to Beyoncé’s emergence as the face of Africanism, a powerful story where she has infused elements of the afropolitan, the afrourban, and the afrofuturistic.

Bey was styled by Zerina Akers, founder of Black Owned Everything

Over time, the African-American Artist has come to own the narrative of what it means to be black and African in our world. This stance is immensely heroic and significant because this is a continent that has suffered continuous misrepresentation of its history and culture.

Yet, as the saying goes, ‘Heavy is the head that lies the crown.’ When a person of influence decides to be the ‘voice of the people,’ the expectations are enormous.

Scenes from an unforgettable experience in Black history

‘Black is King’ tells a beautiful coming-of-age story about a rebellious African Prince banished from his family and striving through love and betrayal to reclaim his identity and throne.

Here, Beyoncé embeds varying elements of style, poetry, music, dance, and history in a stunning visual that celebrates black pride in every shade. She also pays homage to a variety of African creatives across various art categories in what appears to be the most iconic validation of the African existence.

Floral designs on pastel always have an earthy and amazing effect!

As expected, ‘Black is King’ has received widespread praise from critics and fans globally.

At the same time, there have been criticisms about Beyonce ‘wakandizing’ Africa by depicting it as an idealistic kingdom of Kings and Queens thus romanticising its true history.

Beyonce’ and Ghanaian singer, Shatta Wale, in ‘Already’ music video from the album

What Do We Really Want From The Poster Girl For Black Pride?

In an era where the media is actively invested in the #BLMmovement and sentiments are on the rise, it is not hard to see how Beyonce’s efforts will never be good enough for everyone.

The question, however, is this: how do we fully appreciate the prowess that is Beyonce while managing our expectations of the acclaimed poster girl for Black culture and experiences?

P.S: Can someone give Blue Ivy Carter her oscar already, please?

We love how ‘Black is King’, dedicated to her son Sir Carter, feels more human than the usual Beyoncé. The album also features appearances from husband Jay Z, mother Tina Knowles, and her three children.

This is an intimate love song about Africa and its diaspora with family at its centre.

Black is King
Bey stuns in an outfit from Ivorian American designer, Loza Maléombho

As we digest the beauty of ‘Black is King,’ we must remember that its maker is a hybrid of many personalities: a Queen of pop culture trends who embodies Africa’s traditions as well as its future. This production will go down forever as a landmark in black history, and that is the victory.

We recommend that you enjoy the art for an immersive and utterly beautiful experience. Whether or not you think she is too much or not enough, let us first acknowledge that Black is King, and Bey is Queen.

‘Black is King’ is available to stream on Disney + 

Also Read: An Ode To The Black Woman: A Touch By Asoebi Girl And Trubeaute Womenswear Collaboration 

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