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  • Writer's pictureRich Mag

‘Black is King,’ shows us why Blackness reigns.

Updated: Aug 3, 2020

By Shayler Richmond

Black is King, is a work of art; Beyoncé Giselle Knowles-Carter continues to shape how Black people see our world.

Black is King, created space for more people to love, value, and respect being Black.

Black culture is an accumulation of everything we are and everything we do. She leveraged the opportunity offered by Walt Disney Pictures and Parkwood Entertainment to showcase the greatness of being Black.

Beyoncé used her moment to raise a Black boy. This selfless action is the personification of Black women’s love. Black women aren’t obligated to keep showing up for us, but they continue to do so time and time again. And when they do, our world changes for the better, so we ALL need to do our part to PROTECT Black women, STAND with Black women, and TRUST Black women.

Black is King, is a declaration of the power of Blackness and Black women are the foundation of Black power.

We owe Black women everything. When a Black woman loves, she naturally creates room for elevation. Beyoncé is a clear example of a Black woman owning her power; an example of stepping into your greatest truth. She stepped into EVERYTHING for ALL of us.

Through this film, Beyoncé said, The Lion King, is now our story. She claimed everything for us.

She gave us the outfits, the vibes and she entertained.

As indisputably the best entertainer of our time, Beyoncé used this earth-shattering moment to also pay homage to Michael Jackson. Did you see the beautiful black boy dancing in the shiny velvet suit with the diamonds?

At one point in the film, Beyoncé rocked a gold glitzy number against a dark backdrop. She sat voguing, as she shimmered like stars in the galaxy. The gold jewels fringed away from her body and transitioned from gold to bright pink and blue, such a LOOK!

The features were everything. Black is King, isn’t just a love letter to the motherland it is the marriage of African culture and Blackness. Yemi Alade was fly and her dance moves were impeccable. Mr. Eazi was sleek and regal.

Beyoncé commits to everything she produces, Black is King, was no different. She did not hijack, The Lion King, she told the story as it is: Black is King. Beyoncé standing in her greatest truth has allowed her to tell stories honestly through her art.

Black is King, gave us a true Mufasa and Scar moment. Did it get dark? Yes, but experiencing any loss can get dark. Overcoming adversity can get dark. Are you willing to go there? Are you willing to see the potential of our downfall in order to commit to building us up? Like really commit to building community?

While you are debating what side of history you will stand on, people are working and have always been working to create a more loving and equitable future for you and your kids -- and some are doing it in the flyest way possible.

So again, I have to note: Beyoncé, Zerina Akers, and any other stylist on this film did phenomenal work creating an entire film of back-to-back dynamic visuals that flowed effortlessly!! And in customary Beyoncé fashion, she gave Black designers an opportunity to showcase their ingenious creativity.

The cut scenes to that leopard moment. The leopard car. The leopard jumpsuit. The leopard cape. While cutting back and forth to the introduction of Jay-Z into the film, was the most casual-legendary Black love flex. The Carters continue to showcase Black romance at it’s truest, not a story of perfection but with deep resoundingly-prevailing Black truth.

The Carters in their element, one of my favorite moments of the film. And the whole Valentino Haute Couture leopard look curated by Pierpaolo Piccioli, creative director for Valentino was impeccable.

Folajomi 'FJ' Akinmurele, plays Simba in the film and each of his transitions are memorable. Akinmurele got fresh in a suit and turtle neck and I loved every moment of it.

Our possibility doesn’t end at looking the part. The Black narrative is ours to claim and the Carters are showing us the infinite possibilities we have as Black people.

‘Affluent dark-skinned boy,’ is both a cinematic moment and a real-life mantra.

In the film, the same suited young Black boy begins rapping along to Jay-Z. This is a torch lighting moment all Black boys can pull inspiration from.

Black is King is a history lesson, a cultural refresher, and an education manual for anyone sitting idle to the fact that Blackness is Excellence.

Every feature from the African diaspora was well executed; the representation we need to tell our full story. This film painted our Black narrative with a level of confidence and depth we can benefit from exploring.

Bey thank you for bringing Pharrell back to us. And yes, he still looks 23 at the oldest. We’re going to have to stan. Angela Bassett and Pharrell Williams are the leaders of the ‘Black don’t crack’ movement. Honorable mentions *every single Black person in Hollywood.*

She sprinkled in Black rapunzel into the film because she can. Black women can do whatever they want with their hair. It’s not for anyone else to have anything to say about, so I hate that I have to type this. But men, Black men included, stop policing the bodies of Black women.

Black is King, offers versatility for every Black person. Blackness unbound. Blackness at its freest and purest. Most joyous. Most loving. Most caring. Most supportive. Our happiest. Our most knowledgeable.

The “Brown Skin Girl” moment brought in: Lupita Nyong'o. Kelly Rowland. Naomi Campbell. Adut Akech. Aweng Chuol. Tina Knowles Lawson. Rumi Carter. Blue Ivy Carter. This whole set of scenes was sisterhood and showcased the collectivism between Black women at it’s best.

Blue Ivy singing in the spotlight followed by a beautiful dark-skinned girl dancing center stage is everything. A notice that every shade of Black girl deserves to be center stage.

Lessons can be learned from this film because not only does Black is King entertain, it educates.

Wearing wigs traces back to African culture, so that settles it the founder fathers of America stole everything to make America, America.

Thank you for slapping truth in everyone’s face so beautifully Beyoncé, even spirituality.

Spirituality is a component of Blackness.

In the film, Beyoncé embodied the selfless love of Mary, as she walked down a sandy hill in her flowy red-hooded gown cradling a brown baby. She pushed the closed woven basket further out into the water and it drifted down the river. This moment tells the story of how much Beyoncé loves Blackness and Black people. She showed us that her love is freeing not binding. Freeing love gives room for growth.

It is time to become. Become everything we have always been and everything we are meant to be. Don’t focus on needing the love; focus on being love.

Black is King is a call to action for all Black people to step into our greatest truths. No matter the struggle we must choose to overcome trials that elevate us while appreciating every component of our being that makes us the beautiful people we are. We must understand the journey to truth will always have twists and turns but it is worth it.

Toward the end of the film, black men are speaking affirmations and giving advice over the visuals.

One man said, “taking care of what really yours... taking care of you... that’s king sh*t.”

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