February PATTERN Meetup: Blackness, Black Power, & Beyonce
If you have not seen Beyonce's new music video, Formation, you have likely heard about the drama surrounding the song's performance at the 2016 Super Bowl Halftime Show. Many have been left to wonder about Beyonce's true intentions of the lyrics, and the powerful imagery used to bring Formation's lyrics to life before our eyes. Many, however, immediately jumped to conclusions on television, publicly condemning and shaming Beyonce. Many followed suit of these mud slingers, spewing strong opposition on social media. At the same time, many took to Twitter and Facebook to show their support and praise of Beyonce's "call to action." Beyonce fittingly debuted her new, "controversial" single during Black History Month.
Beyonce, a lifelong fashion icon, caught the attention of PATTERN magazine members, who felt she created an excellent reason to gather our diverse community for a discussion about one of the most potent and recognized fashion & pop culture icons of our time.
Panelists Brent Lyle, Ashley B. Chew, Elle Roberts, DJ Limelight, and moderator Malina Simone Jeffers led a spirited discussion of FORMATION, and what it should teach us about Blackness, Black Power and Black History. This panel brought to life so many informative thoughts about Beyonce's suggestive imagery and what it means for African Americans (women, in particular). The young ladies (and men) felt that this song was a call out to the African American women - calling them to be strong, to be proud of who they are, to stop being silent, and to take a stand for civil rights and for women's rights.
As a young, white american, I found this panel discussion to be very informative and thought provoking! I enjoyed talking with the panelists and catching a glimpse of their personal perspective. This conversation felt like a staring point - a spring board really - for future discussion!
Editor and Creative Director of Pattern Magazine, Polina Osherov, gave this follow-up statement after the event, "For Pattern, gathering people together and giving them a chance to connect with each other is what we do really well. We'd love to do more, but for now, due to limited resources, events like this one is all that's possible. That said, I'd like to echo a couple of the panelists who spoke of the need for each of us to make an effort in our own lives to combat both racism and sexism. We need to have the courage to stand up to friends and family members who continue to promote attitudes that should be long gone. And I love the idea of consciously trying to spend time with people we don't normally hang out with. Building bridges through relationships is key!"
For more information about Pattern and this event, visit www.patternindy.com