She leads the “Black Parade”: how Beyoncé became one of the spokespersons of the African-American community

In her latest albums, “Queen Bey” celebrates black culture and campaigns against racism. Franceinfo took a look at the music superstar’s claimed commitment.

“Historical.” Beyoncé became , Sunday March 14, the most awarded female artist at the Grammy Awards , with, now, no less than 28 statuettes to exhibit in her library. The American singer won  the trophy for best music video for Brown Skin Girl   and best R&B performance for  Black Parade , a track that echoes the death of George Floyd and the anti-racist protests of 2020.  “An African-American woman. who becomes the most awarded female artist, thanks to committed titles, she is a strong political symbol “, enthuses Keivan Djavadzadeh, lecturer in information and communication sciences at the University of Paris 8.

Engaged, Beyoncé  ? Some people undoubtedly choke on reading the association of these two words. Because the native of Houston has built her career as a singer (and businesswoman) on a rather smooth image. She rose to prominence in the late 1990s when she squatted the radio waves with her R&B group, Destiny’s Child. Solo, she has had successes since 2003, notably with love songs or dance titles such as  Crazy in Love and  Single Ladies . “It was also one of the conditions for Beyoncé’s initial success: by not engaging in politics, she appealed to a large audience ,  notes Keivan Djavadzadeh.

“The day Beyoncé turned black”

For the author of  Hot, Cool & Vicious. Gender, race and sexuality in US rap  (Editions Amsterdam, 2021), the career of “Queen Bey” took a turn in 2016. Three years after proclaiming herself a feminist (and having, in the process, triggered a controversy on her vision of the emancipation of women ), the singer denounces racist police violence in her title Formation.  During the half-time of the Superbowl, a big sports mass watched each year by more than 100 million viewers in the United States and around the world, it pays tribute to the activists of the Black Panthers and to Malcom X * .

Then she surrounds herself with the mothers of young blacks killed by white police * in the film that accompanies her latest album,  Lemonade . What destabilize part of its audience and inspire a parody sketch in the cult show  Saturday Night Live , in which white America lives  “The day Beyoncé became black” .

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