Opinion beyoncé can’t be deterred from her unapologetic blackness the pointer 7 cases movie

I impatiently stayed up until 1 a.m. to watch Beyoncé perform at Coachella on April 14. I knew it was going to be momentous performance when she wrote a post on Facebook where she urged fans to get hydrated and to make sure their phones were charged. For a woman who is known for surprise releases without notice, her fair warning could only lead us to imagine the legendary performance she was about to give us.

And deliver she did: I was legitimately shaken afterwards. It was the dead of night, and I was enchanted by the performance I just witnessed. The set, the dancers, the reunion of Destiny’s Child, appearances from her sister and husband; no holds were barred.

Beyoncé’s theme for her performance was a tribute to “Historically Black Colleges and Universities,” or HBCU’s for short. These institutions were havens for black students wanting to further their education. They were established before the Civil Rights Act of 1964, with the purpose of African-Americans creating their own space of higher learning while they were barred from other institutions.

The performance featured a large marching band comprised of Black men and women, who added a vibrant energy that revitalized and reimagined the classics from her catalog. The performance incorporated elements of HBCU culture and highlighted Black power. From the inclusion of interlude quotes from Malcolm X, to imagery of Nefertiti, an Egyptian queen who represents Black roots to royalty. Beyoncé performed “Lift Every Voice,” otherwise known as the “Black National Anthem,” and gave homage to Black dances like stepping and the swag surf.

Beyoncé is the first ever Black woman to headline the festival. She referenced that we still have a ways to go regarding representations and thanked the women that paved the way for her. This was especially powerful given the circumstances surrounding the festival.

Most of Coachella’s attendees are Caucasian, and it is inherently political to present a performance dedicated to a culture that is not readily known by the audience. She didn’t cater her set for wide appeal. This performance was an ode to Black people; a celebratory embrace of the width and depth of our culture.

Mrs. Tina Knowles-Lawson, Beyoncé’s mother, revealed behind-the-scenes information that I think helped color the importance of this performance. She stated that she initially brought up her hesitations about the production to her daughter. She was scared that the majority Caucasian audience wouldn’t get it. Beyoncé assured her that given the platform she cultivated for herself, she has “a responsibility to do what’s best for the world and not what is most popular.”

Although she has been exploring themes of Black power and feminism in her last two studio albums “Beyoncé” and “Lemonade”, this performance made a specific statement of the future of Beyoncé’s brand. This performance proudly proclaimed that she cannot be deterred from celebrating her blackness anymore. And this leads me to wonder about future performances, particularly her upcoming tour with her husband, Jay-Z.

With her Coachella performance in mind, I can guarantee this is only the beginning for a liberated Beyoncé; a woman who has reached a comfortable place in her career that allows her to explore creatively without censorship. It will be fascinating to see her explore themes regarding her identities as a black woman, a mother and wife. Especially after the reveal of Jay-Z’s infidelity in the past.

In a speech that Malcolm X gave in May of 1962, he famously stated, “The most disrespected woman in America, is the black woman… The most neglected person in America, is the black woman.” For Beyoncé to cultivate the power she possesses in our society is a testament to her hold on pop culture and her own sheer will.