Sunday, March 29, 2009

Beyonce on Racism, in Vogue


"My father had to fight those battles {for me}. I didn’t. And now I’m large enough—I’m universal—that no one’s paying attention to what race I am. I’ve kind of proven myself. I’m past that."

Something about, "I'm large enough...I'm past that" isn't sitting right with me...but ya'll know I don't like her ass, so maybe I'm just reaching too far. What do you think?

6 comments:

Ellington 51 said...

She's clearly THINKING that her career success has extirpated the color of her skin in the public eye. What she fails to realize is that it makes sense that her father had to fight far more racial battles than she—he's dark-skinned. SHE is the product of racial mixing (light-skinned) and is therefore less inclined to be viewed as a racial pariah AS a dark-skinned individual such as her father. It's not possible for someone to "fight those battles for you" so that when you grow up everyone just magically leaves you alone. People are just more intrigued, (drawn to, comfortable with etc.) her exoticized racial ambiguity. As much as I love her, it's quite possibly the DUMBEST thing I've ever heard her say. But hey, we don't love her for her intelligence, do we?

Countdown To Change... said...

I totally feel you, it doesnt sit right with me at all either. I think I get what shes saying, that since shes this mega icon no one is paying attention to her being black. But she fails to realize that people everywhere still say, "she so pretty for a black girl"

Anjl Marie said...

I AGREE WITH ellington51 OF COURSE ITS EASIER FOR BEYONCE TO BE MORE ACCEPTED RACIALLY THAN LETS SAY INDIA ARIE.


IM BLOWN BY HERE SUPPER STAR COMMENT TOO.... SHE'S BIG BECAUSE EVERYBODY ELSE WAS WILLING TO BUILD EVERYTHIG AROUND HER NOT BECAUSE SHE WAS ABLE TO RISE ON HER OWN...

DESTNY'S CHILD WAS ABOUT HER, DEREON WAS ABOUT HER, THE MOVIE ROLLS THAT SHE DOES ARE NEVER ANYTHING DEEP, NEVER ANYTHING THAT ISN'T BUILT AROUND HER.

BUT HEY EVEN THE MOST "BELOVED" OF US CAN SAY THE LAMEST AND DUMBEST STUFF

B. Floyd said...

I don't know that I think it's a light skin/dark skin issue, at least as she's quoted. In the quote, Beyonce is saying that her father had to fight those battles for her, in terms of her career, which means that she experienced racism in the industry, but had her father there to take up the slack.

I just don't know that I like her saying "no one's paying attention to what race I am" as if that's a good thing, or necessary to her success. As if brown skin comes with a negative stigma that she's become famous in spite of.

There's an air of transcendence here that makes me uncomfortable. I feel like she's essentially arguing that blackness and super stardom can't function in the same space, and that's not a good look for the African-American community as a whole.

But that's a lot to take from these few lines, and I feel like if race was an issue Vogue wanted to touch on, they should have expanded the conversation a bit more.

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Anonymous said...

I sort of agree with B Floyd. This has nothing to do with skin tone. Halle berry said she encountered plenty of racism too (and she's bi racial) so as long as you are clearly and visibly seen as a black woman (which Beyonce is) you're going to encounter racism in that industry no matter how light you are. She was actually saying that her father fought HER racial battles for her because she was only a child and he was her manager so she didn't have to hear the music executives comment about the risks of signing and working with a black girl group or the perception that black women don't sell as well to mainstream America. Her father would be the one to hear it and he would be the one to respond on her behalf. I know plenty of non black people who think Beyonce is beautiful for any woman of any race an I know plenty of black people who think that Britney Spears or Jessica Simpson are cut for white girls so the beauty thing is not the real issue. Beyonce actually makes a pretty good point that once you do get a lot visibility as an artist and a person people think that they know you more than they would if you were a stranger walking down the street so they are more prone to like you, relatte to you, buy into you then they normally would. Race does indeed start to become less of a factor with you because they feel like they know you and start to really admire you as a person and artist. Also regardless of race the bigger you are and more money you get the more power you do receive in the industry because money reigns supreme in the industry even to the factthat someone who may be inclined to be prejudice to blacks will still bend over for a black they know will make them lots of money.