Critics slam Beyonce over Black is King visual album
Beyoncé’s “Black Is King” visual album was released on the 31st of July on the Disney+ platform to much critical acclaim and praise from fans. It’s been praised for its strong efforts to represent the global collective of Afro people, the body of work has also gotten criticism for its rigid portrayal of Africa.
Most have mixed feelings about the project
With the recent global revival of the Black Lives Matter movement, the unique underlying message of loving black culture through the embrace of African heritage comes at an appropriate time.
“Black Is King+ is a sometimes-penetrating presentation of African artists whose work blends brilliantly with that of Americans with roots on the continent,” wrote John DeFore of the Hollywood Reporter.
Some Africans are Not Buying it
Regardless, and despite features from notable African artists such as Nigeria’s Yemi Alade, South Africa’s Busiswa and Ghana’s Shatta Wale, some Africans are unimpressed by the American singer’s efforts-viewing her depiction of the continent as more imaginary and Wakanda-like than based on the real representation and rich continental diversity that Africa holds. An image that could do more harm to the continent than good.
The Houston-born singer has, according to her detractors, delivered a distorted and amalgamated vision of Africa.
“Can someone tell Beyoncé that Africa doesn’t just have one culture and that we are normal people,” tweeted Kaye Vuitton, a Nigerian.
“Beyoncé has never set foot in Africa, she’s appropriating African culture.’ WHAT?!!!”
Still, there are many who have come to the defense of the R&B singer in appreciation of the work’s existence without requiring perfection.
“There are more urgent things to do than to get angry at an African-American woman who is using her means to question, explore and artistically interpret a way to fill the gaps in her identity,” wrote racial equality activist Timeka Smith in the British daily The Independent.
“I believe that when
Black people tell our own stories, we can shift the axis of the world and tell our REAL history of generational wealth and richness of soul that are not told in our history books,” Beyoncé wrote in an Instagram post.
Among the critics was Ruth Chikuma, a 22-year-old college student in Gaborone, the capital of Botswana.
She describes herself as a Beyoncé fan but says that when she saw the video, she winced.
“There is so much more to Africa than lions,” she said, “and painting our faces white.”