4 Year Anniversary of WJSS today! – Wendy Jane’s Weekend Sounds: Beyonce – Formation

14 Feb

Beyonce, Formation VideoYou’d have to be très isolated to not hear about the stir the new Beyonce video, Formation, and her performance at the SuperBowl 50 caused this past week.

Formation is Beyonce embracing her blackness in all it’s glory, everything from her Creole ancestry to her love of Jackson Five nostrils (you know I had to include that line). She also in this song and in the video is putting out the calling to get in formation–in her SuperBowl performance that formation was Beyonce, and her back-up dancers dressed in outfits reminiscent of Black Panthers regalia, in an X formation, a nod to Malcolm X.

The video which I have yet to see–I’m trying to register for my free trial on www.tidal.com, Jay Z’s music streaming company, but the site seems to be having trouble processing my registration.  Yet, in countless posts in social media this week, I’ve heard about the imagery of Beyonce laying atop a sinking police car, in the flooded waters of Hurricane Katrina, of a young boy of color dancing in front of a wall of police officers, with the officers putting their hands up in the “Hands Up, Don’t Shoot” formation brought to life by the Black Lives Matter Movement.

I’ve also heard the many opinions from friends and news outlets on-line. They vary from the conservative, who are outraged by Beyonce’s supposed disrespect for policemen and our country; to the skeptical, who believe Beyonce is a pawn of the entertainment industry, and is using this political song and video simply to call attention to herself, and to draw ticket buyers to her upcoming Formation concert tour; to the liberal, who are proud of Beyonce for unapologetically showing her love for her blackness, and for using her platform to speak on issues that are important to her.

Artists have been making protest songs forever–Peter, Paul and Mary, and Pete Seeger during the Vietnam War in the 60’s, Gil Scot-Heron’s early 1970’s exposure of the harsh reality of inequality for black people in this country, and a waking up for the “revolution that will not be televised.” The Sex Pistols in the early 80’s called out the monarchy, and even Michael Jackson used song as a call to action with They Don’t Care About Us, filmed in the favelas skirting Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, depicting the utter poverty people were living in, as well as with his Earth Song, a call for us to care for our planet before it’s too late.

I support Beyonce’s right to sing about what matters to her, and am not threatened by her song, like so many seem to be. Yet, as many of the commentators of color noted this week: white people, not everything is always about you–this song was not made for you, it was made for black people, and so no need to get in a fuss about it.

And, Beyonce does not hate the police, as some have intimated, just as the people who are a part of the Black Lives Matter movement do not hate the police either.  What I have learned they do want,  is a humane system of law enforcement–one that does not use excessive force, that is not trained to be militaristic in their responses, especially to the black community, and officers who do not regard the black body as automatically dangerous.  They want the killing of unarmed black people to stop.  They want equality.

While Beyonce might not be a lot of people’s idea of an activist or someone who truly cares about issues, she has contributed generously to causes, including a $7 million donation to a housing program for the homeless in Houston, Texas, just one of the donations she makes to charities she tends to keep quiet about instead of calling attention to her philanthropy like some other celebrities do.

Here are links to a few opinion pieces on Beyonce and Formation, and the Saturday Night Live skit that shows the impact her latest artistic output has had on the white community.

Sean Trainor’s Salon piece, highlighting works of women of color writers, Dream Hampton, Tiffany Lee and Regina N. Bradley, Dear Liberal White Guys, Before You Critique Beyonce’s Formation, Read This

Stacey Patton’s piece featured on Dame Magazine, They Mad: Beyonce’s Middle Finger Salute To White America

SNL Skit on the effects of Beyonce’s Formation video on white people:

Finally, I’ve linked to a youtube lyric post of the song, Formation.  Looks like you’ll have to go on Tidal to watch the real thing.

I’m curious to hear your thoughts, readers.  Please get in formation, and share your opinions in the comments below.


www.salon.com, Dear Liberal White Guys, Before You Critique Beyonce’s Formation Video, Read This, Sean Trainor, 2/11/16

www.damemagazine.com, They Mad: Beyonce’s Middle Finger Salute To White America, 2/12/16

www.youtube.com, Formation, Beyonce, posted by Betty Smith

www.youtube.com, SNL skit, The Day Beyonce Turned Black, posted by SNL

photo credit:  www.allhiphop.com


11 Responses to “4 Year Anniversary of WJSS today! – Wendy Jane’s Weekend Sounds: Beyonce – Formation”

  1. Miriam February 14, 2016 at 2:41 pm #

    Congrats Wendy on the 4th anniversary of your blog! Never stop writing! Happy Valentine’s Day!

    • Wendy Jane February 14, 2016 at 3:31 pm #

      Thanks so much, Miriam! You keep on with your writing, too! Happy Valentines Day to you and your family.


  2. Elissa February 14, 2016 at 4:42 pm #

    Love this. Omg that SNL was too much! Lol For the record, I keep hot suace in my desk at work. Just saying. Lol. But I have heard some black women that don’t like the video. I guess everyone has their opinion. I know the song got stuck in my head quick. I like it.

    • Wendy Jane February 14, 2016 at 4:46 pm #

      Hi Elissa,

      Right?! Glad you have your own hot sauce swag:) I haven’t seen any comments by black people yet that are unhappy with the video–all I’ve seen think it’s hilarious too, but everyone is entitled to their individual opinion.

      Thanks for reading and commenting!

      Wendy Jane

  3. Vickie February 15, 2016 at 5:20 pm #

    Congratulations! 4 years! Exciting – as for the performance, unfortunately I still have not seen it or a video, so I can’t comment. I will have to make an effort to take a look when we get back

    • Wendy Jane February 15, 2016 at 6:20 pm #

      thanks so much, Vickie!! Hope you’re enjoying your travels!


  4. Sherry Gordon February 17, 2016 at 3:45 pm #

    Dear Wendy Jane,

    Hello, there, Wendy Jane, my so, so very dearly special and dearly precious sister and friend who you are For Always so, so very much!!!!!!! Wow, FINALLY I’m able to so, so very joyfully respond to your absolutely amazing blog post article with my very heartfelt, detailed, and very thorough comment, sister!!!!!!! Sister, I just so, so very much love and like this very cool, sharp, and sparkling blog post article, and all of the comments above,my friend!!!!!! Sister, I had a setback with not feeling well with me being sick again!!!!!!! UGH!!!!!! What happened is that when I went swimming at the indoor swimming pool a week ago it was very, very cold out here in Iowa City, Iowa, and right after I was done swimming I went outside too quickly and walked a few blocks away with my walker to the Iowa City Public Library and the coldness got to me and ended up making me sick again! What I should have done I think is just stayed at the recreation center where the indoor swimming pool is at for awhile to warm up before going out into the cold and taking that walk. You see, I had a long wait at the recreation center until my private, para-transit bus would come to pick me up to take me home from the recreation center, and I thought to kill time for the more than 2 1/2 hours wait that it would be more fun to go to the Iowa City Public Library, and next to the library at the coffee shop, and that it would be more fun for me and less boring to wait there. I ended up changing the location of the pickup for my ride home to be from the Iowa City Public Library. This private, para-transit bus service is just so great, sister, and it is free. It is called the Bionic Bus and is run by the University of Iowa Cambus. You must be disabled student, staff and other employee, and elderly retired employee from the university, and faculty to be eligible to ride this. How I qualify for this is that when I went back to school in the early 2000s this time at the University of Iowa here in Iowa City, as a disabled student I qualified for this free service. When I graduated from the University of Iowa in May 2010 a short time later when I was a client at Goodwill Employment Services for the disabled, they helped me to get a part-time job at the University Law Library that I had as a supplement to my disability benefits being disabled. So even though I was no longer a student because of my job with the University Law Library I was still eligible to ride the Bionic Bus. What happened is that in January 2014 I started to have even worsening medical problems and more and more trouble with my physical disabilities, and I had to stop my part-time job as the UI Law Library where I was a mail clerk, and I was gone for so long that they could no longer hold the part-time job open for me. The Bionic Bus people are just so great and kind-they put me on retired status so that I am still eligible and able to ride the Bionic Bus for free, and it is just the greatest!!!!!!! It comes right to the front door of my apartment complex, and takes me to and from all of my appointments, and to run errands, and to go to and from the grocery stores and for other shopping, sister!!!!!!!! I just have to try to schedule as much in advance as feasible, but they will do same day and immediate requests if they have the time available on the schedule!!!!!! They are so helpful!!!!!! Every year in December my former employer invites me to the holiday get together at a neighborhood restaurant which they host for current and former employees!!!!!! Wow, I sure miss that part-time job and the marvelous people there!!!!!! I had been a mail clerk in the mail room, sisterfriend!!!!!! I am just so, so very blessed with the splendid Bionic Bus people, and with the great folks at my former part-time job!!!!!!!!! There is another private, para-transit service for the disabled and elderly in my Johnson County called SEATS but it is not as workable as the Bionic Bus, and SEATS charges a lot of money for the rides-I am so, so very blessed that I can ride the Bionic Bus for free, and it just works out so, so much better for me, Wendy Jane!!!!!!!!

    Now, I must get to writing in response to your absolutely fantastic blog post article, sisterfriend!!!!!!(SMILE!!!!!!!). I want so to say to you again a very hearty Happy, Nice, Blessed, and Very Special 4th Anniversary for your wondrously wonderful WJSS and for wondrously wonderful YOU, Wendy Jane!!!!!! Wow, I am just so, so very proud of you, Wendy Jane, and so very impressed with your cool and so full of Spirit writings!!!!!! And I yearn so to say again, “Happy Valentine’s Day, sister!!!!!!!! I think so strongly that our Beyonce in her very powerful Formation was singing from her very heart, with her so, so much love for herself and for black sisters and brothers, and that she truly and sincerely sought to show her love and support for black sisters and brothers, and to empower and help black sisters and brothers toward our very agency and empowerment. I think that she really did in her very heart mean well and meant to do a great thing in supporting and loving other black people, and to show her strong support for Black Lives Matter, and that the very lives of black persons do very much indeed count and matter, and to show her great support for the other New Civil Rights’ Movements, sister!!!!!!! I have a very different style, presentation, and demeanor than our Beyonce but I still think highly of this and know that Beyonce’s heart was in the right place. She wanted so to love herself and other black persons, and to affirm, recognize, acknowledge, and validate not only herself but also other black people. Sister, I didn’t care for or like the use of the “b-word” and the “h-word” in particular in the dirty version of Formation but I still think this was a very remarkable effort in our Beyonce showing her self-love and her love for black persons, my so, so very dearest sister and friend Wendy Jane!!!!!!

    Sisterfriend, please have such a wondrously wonderful Wednesday,rest of your week and weekend, and may all of your days be so, so very especially blessed, Wendy Jane!!!!!! YOU, sister Wendy Jane, and your absolutely spectacular writings are for sure my very joys and blessings, and responding to all of your so, so very cool blog post articles and other writings give me such greatly immense and joyous fun and pleasure, sisterfriend!!!!!!! You are just the very greatest and the very best, Wendy Jane!!!!!!!

    Very Warmly and Sincerely For Always, my so, so very dearly special white sister, Wendy Jane, with such Peace and Love To You For Always, my sisterfriend, and with such Blessings and Even More Blessings To You For Always, my so, so very dearly precious friend,

    Your sisterfriend lesbian black woman For Always in the very spirit and solidarity, Sherry Gordon

    • Wendy Jane February 17, 2016 at 7:03 pm #

      Hi Sherry,

      I’m so glad to hear that you’re feeling well enough to be back at your computer writing away! You’ve really been through alot with your winter sicknesses, so I hope you sail right into spring healthy as ever.

      It was cool, too, to hear how you used to work at the library–I can tell how much you enjoyed your time there, and I’m sure everyone who worked with you loved having you there–it’s nice they still include you in celebrations. And, the Bionic Bus is awesome! It allows you to get around and do all the errands and medical appts. and get to the swimming pool and everything–it is so needed, so I’m glad that you get this service for free!

      Thanks also for checking in on the Beyonce Formation video–I agree with your take on it, and I appreciated having you here to support my every post.

      Your sisterfriend in solidarity,
      Wendy Jane

  5. karen kidd February 18, 2016 at 11:40 am #

    Great article, Wendy. Once again, you are definitely ON POINT!! Thank you, and congratulations on four years of Blackness. lol.

    • Wendy Jane February 18, 2016 at 12:44 pm #

      Hi Karen,

      Thank you so much, especially on the congratulations on four years of Blackness.:) This journey is helping me learn, make mistakes, open up and grow. I thank you so very much for being such a strong supporter and companion along for the ride.

      Lots of love,

Trackbacks and Pingbacks

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    […] apart from black people, who, if you were paying attention to the most recent outrage expressed over Beyonce’s Superbowl performance of Formation, you would learn, that the matter of black pride and black people asking to be treated humanely, […]

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