An Essay on Beyoncé and the Black Women Who Love Her

Rachel Kaadzi Ghanash writes about the power of the BeyHive.

By Jamilah King Mar 18, 2014

Queen Bey is currently in the hotseat because of her decision to perform in Israel this summer despite calls to boycott the country. More than 800 people have signed a petition in favor of the boycott, but the singer doesn’t seemed too fazed. Here’s Rachel Kaadzi Ghanash writing for NPR with a brilliant take on Beyonce’s significance as a black female icon:

Is Beyoncé a feminist? Is she a womanist? I don’t know. To me she is a cyborg. "Cyborg writing," Donna Haraway tells us, "is about the power to survive, not on the basis of original innocence, but on the basis of seizing the tools to mark the world that marked them as other." What I appreciate about Beyoncé is that I understand and recognize the tools seized. This is not to say that these aspects in Beyoncé align neatly — they are indeed confusing — but they demand a right that is so often denied black women: the right to be a human, a character with many identities, many aspects, attitudes, vulnerabilities, joys, heartbreaks and realities. 

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