Beyoncé and Jay-Z have been in the Hamptons the last little while. They were photographed with all three kids on a boat with Twitter’s Jack Dorsey the other day – Page Six has the exclusive photos. Sir and Rumi are three years old now. And Blue who is eight years old on her phone, hanging with her friend – how does it go by so fast?!
In other Beyoncé news, since she’s in New York, and the MTV VMAs are happening in Brooklyn on Sunday, people are trying to rumour that she’ll make an appearance. Look, I’ll never not want to see the Queen but the VMAs aren’t requiring people to quarantine and so many performers are coming from LA and, you know, they need Beyoncé more than she needs them and I’d rather her stay safe and healthy, you know? Besides, it’s not like she isn’t busy. She’s always busy. Beyoncé is always planning.
A few days ago she was photographed leaving an adidas photo shoot. Next IVY PARK collection? It’s been almost nine months since the first drop. Will it be a Fall 2020 release? Or will she wait until the New Year? As we’ve been trained to accept, she will tell us when she tells us. That said, there are obviously other things on Beyoncé’s mind right now.
As we know, Beyoncé has focused much of her work on uplifting the Black community and drawing attention to racial injustice. Through the pandemic she has highlighted the fact that COVID-19 disproportionately affects people of colour, she’s made significant donations to help communities struggling with high infection rates, and she has been a longtime supporter of the Black Lives Matter movement. It may not get as much publicity as her other projects but it’s well known that she and Jay-Z for years have been contributing to legal defence funds and other programs to strengthen the cause.
Yesterday, in response to the police shooting of Jacob Blake, she posted this:
Jacob Blake was shot multiple times by police officers in Wisconsin with his three children in the car. He survived, but he is now paralysed from the waist down. His life is now permanently altered because of racism. Please let’s not waste any more time pretending it’s for any other reason. Black Lives Matter is called Black Lives Matter because for hundreds of years, Black humanity has not been acknowledged. That Black people have had to keep fighting for their humanity is gross – and it’s just as gross that it took some of us, me included, so long to wake up to it. Yesterday marked three months since the murder of George Floyd, resulting in worldwide protests. But now here we are, Jacob Blake needs a miracle to walk again, there’s no justice for Breonna Taylor, in addition to so many other Black lives taken, and people are still finding excuses to call it anything but what it really is and distracting from the real issue: which is that Black people are discriminated against by police, because Black people are not treated as equal, because Black lives are not valued.
The Atlantic published a piece yesterday about anger and racial injustice and how “Anger Can Build a Better World”. The essay argues that…well… first of all…why aren’t all of us SO MAD at what’s been happening? And what would happen if the rest of us were all just as angry as Black people? What change could result?
Where also can we direct our anger? For me, personally, some of my anger is at myself. At my own past prejudice and bias, at the complacency that’s so easy to fall back into. Anger, in many ways, is the opposite of complacency. You might say that the status quo counts on people to be lulled into complacency. Anger then can indeed be a change-maker. If you are angry too, stay angry. Keep that energy.
And to bring it back to Beyoncé, this is Lemonade, this is Homecoming, this is Black is King. There is joy and celebration in those works of art, of course. But it does and can exist alongside rage, and so many other expressions of emotion, to provide as complete a picture of Black humanity. This is why storytelling is so vital. This is why diversity in storytelling is critical – in addition to institutional and systemic reform. Because we learn empathy through stories. Because we share our humanity through stories. And if only certain stories are told, than our own humanity is incomplete.