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Black Lives Matter Co-Founder Alicia Garza Defends Beyoncé

Beyonce black lives matter

The activist welcomes the Creole queen to the Black Lives Matter movement.  

Beyonce and her "Formation" have caused a lot of chatter lately. With the dizzying amount of criticism and praise Bey's latest video has received, Out100 honoree Alicia Garza, one of the founders of the Black Lives Matters movement, speaks up in defense of the pop star in a Rolling Stone essay.

Garza writes:

"The lyrics of the song are complicated--and so is the movement itself. The images in the video conjuring the man-made tragedy of Hurricane Katrina, police violence, resistance and black life in the South showed that the Queen is multifaceted, complex, full of contradictions and black as hell. In it, she invokes Southern heritage, traditions and tragedy. She uses magic to remind us that we have the power to change the dynamics between police and the communities they're supposed to protect and serve."

Garza words come at the perfect time, as haters trying to undermine the pop star's activism have announced an Anti-Beyonce rally. In today's saturated blogosphere, the "Formation" video got think-pieced so much that its message has become confused and distorted, and its magical and revolutionary aspect are distilled.

Here, Garza encourages critiques of Beyonce, but wants to shift the focus from asking whether or not the singer is a part of the Black Lives Matter movement, to effectively analyzing her position within the movement. What matters is what she's saying through her art, and how this video can advance the Black Lives Matter's cause:

"For me it's clear Beyonce sees herself as a part of the movement for black lives, and believes that black lives matter -- and ultimately, that's what matters." Garza writes. "How do I know? Because in a little under five minutes, Bey told us who her people are, how that makes her who she is, and that she could care less about conspiracy theories about her man being part of the illuminati, or what you think about her daughter's natural hair."

Also a champion for trans people of color, Garza reminds us that the intention of Blacks Live Matter is not to advocate for one type of black person. What Beyonce should be praised for is risking her acceptance and mainstream success in the commercial market to champion a grassroots cause, and using the most-watched television program in American history to do so. As Garza shows us, Beyonce may not be a perfect activist, but her voice is certainly one of the most powerful.

And remember, just like the rest of us, Beyonce has room to grow into her six-inch activist heels.

30 Years of Out100Out / Advocate Magazine - Jonathan Groff and Wayne Brady

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