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Eyes Wide Shut

Malcolm X warned us with these words.

Malcolm

For people of color in my friend circles on social media, this has certainly come to pass. The Grammy awards last night featured Beyonce singing, “Take My Hand, Precious Lord” and almost instantly folks were bashing her saying that she was greedy, or that she should have let Ledisi sing the song. I was not aware Beyonce ran the Grammy awards. It makes her losing to Beck strange huh…

Ledisi for those of you who do not know, sang the song in the film, “Selma” and is a popular R&B singer. I just find it interesting how quickly we bash and jump on our own, before we sit for a minute and think critically. Instead of being angry at Beyonce for asking to perform, why not be angry with the Grammy Awards who only permitted four women of color to sing in total that night? The award show could have hired both Beyonce and Ledisi to perform. However apparently they were at their minority woman cap. They had maxed out, only those four may sing. Meanwhile we will book TEN white women to sing…

That is what we need to be upset about, the disproportionate number of women of color performing!  However that is one of the subversive tactics of oppression-infighting. If they distract people of color and keep us fighting over which ONE woman of color they should let perform, instead of arguing for more representation, or at least equal, then they win. The white supremacist powers that be succeed in the old divide and conquer technique. We need to always “stay woke” to this kind of shell game. Be angry at the Grammys for making the choice between Beyonce or Ledisi instead of showcasing both women of color.

My next point is related. How has Annie Lennox not only become the gatekeeper of feminism, (deciding who is “in” and who is “out”. Declaring Beyonce as not a feminist) but also how has she escaped constant criticism from our communities over her rampant, and blatant cultural appropriation? She sings the Billie Holiday lynching condemnation song, “Strange Fruit”, then covers “I put a Spell on You” by the legendary Scremin’ Jay Hawkins. Performing both clueless, with no context as to the cultural context and history of both, and the semiotics involved when a white woman sings those songs. My black friends on social media said nothing about her respectability politics keeping Beyonce out of feminism in her mind, or her own cultural musical theft. They were too busy blaming a woman of color for singing a song…

Listen to Malcolm and always “stay woke”

ledisi

Annie Lennox Portrait Session

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6 comments on “Eyes Wide Shut

  1. pray4menac
    February 9, 2015

    I’m a Beyonce fan, However I personally don’t like the fact that Beyonce took to spotlight away from Ledisi. Ledisi played the part in the move and sang the song so in my opinion she should have been the one to sing the song at the Grammys. I feel that these stars are so full of themselves and don’t care who they step on or hurt in the process. The nerve of Beyonce to ask to sing that song at the Grammy’s and take that moment away from Ledisi. Common and Legend could have and should have just said NO and do the right thing!

    • thekynegro29
      February 9, 2015

      Ok but once again, if the Grammys had wanted Ledisi they would have put her up there. They only had four women of color singing that night, Rihanna, Mary J Ariana and Beyonce. How many white women sang- like 5 thousand lol. The Grammys made the decision to put beyonce up there instead of Ledisi. beyonce asked, they could have said no, we have already booked lesisi. they didnt want her. why should Beyonce turn down appearances? see thats what the industry does-turn minorities against each other. BOTH should have been on the grammys singing, but the grammys want us fighting over scraps and hating on each other over demanding they have more singers of color total

      • pray4menac
        February 9, 2015

        Hmmmm ok I hear what you’re saying !!!

      • Jennifer
        February 10, 2015

        They never booked Ledisi. They had Common and John Legend. Beyonce asked them to perform. I don’t like playing the race card and it’s not the Grammy fault. This has everything to do with black artist respecting each other and pulling everyone up. I refuse to think the Grammys should be held responsible for not turning down powerhouse Beyonce because for them it’s called business. For us people of color however and those artists it’s called being held accountable. When Beyonce did Cadillac Records one would expect she would perform since she played the part of Etta James. Why would it be ok for the Grammys to say let’s have both sing although we know Ledisi played the part. We as a people need to hold each other accountable and stop blaming the “man”.

  2. tybrown1011
    February 10, 2015

    Reblogged this on 110th & cypher.

  3. Lightworker
    February 10, 2015

    What is the issue with calling out one of our own responsible for reprehensible actions? We can and should hold one another accountable when we find that person to be in the wrong, that is not infighting, that is having standards for behavior. Beyonce should not have usurped Ledisi and asked to perform a song whose popular resurgence was due to LEDISI and SELMA. Beyonce did not need that particular Grammy performance but it would have meant the world to Ledisi. All of Beyonce’s talk about feminism is just that ‘talk’. Every single thing she does is calculated for her narrow, vapid. self interest. Where has she been in the whole #BlackLivesMatter movement? Her younger sister Solange is much more genuine and always is at the forefront of these kinds of issues, check the records. This was pure narcissism and a real petty, back stabbing move. Calling her out has nothing to do with the Hollywood establishment and everything to do with an honest critique for someone ‘behaving badly’… EPIC FAIL B

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