Beyoncé's ‘Black Is King’ criticised by Noname amid cultural appropriation claims
5 August 2020, 11:50 | Updated: 5 August 2020, 12:42
Rapstress Noname has been vocal amongst many who have criticised Beyoncé's Disney film 'Black Is King', for it's use of African culture.
The 28-year-old rapstress took to Twitter and has appeared to criticise Beyoncé's choice to 'capitalise' on the heavily African-inspired film, which was released on Disney+ on Friday.
Beyoncé's film Black Is King draws from Afro-centric culture in it's messaging, clothing, music, imagery, choreography and overall aesthetic.
The film has widely been celebrated for positively representing Africa and putting the continents bold and rich culture at the forefront of mainstream popular culture.
The film pays tribute to iconic black figures within the entertainment industry, such as supermodel Naomi Campbell, Oscar-winning actress Lupita Nyong'o, and singer Kelly Rowland.
Bey's husband Jay Z and daughter Blue Ivy also feature in the film.
Although the film has been praised for many positive ways it reflects blackness and African culture, it has also been criticised for capitalising off of African culture without truly paying her respects and giving back.
Rapstress Noname has mad it clear she does not totally agree with Beyonce's decision to utilise African culture in the way that she has.
we love an african aesthetic draped in capitalism. hope we remember the blk folks on the continent whose daily lives are impacted by u.s imperialism. if we can uplift the imagery i hope we can uplift those who will never be able to access it. black liberation is a global struggle— 🌱 (@noname) July 31, 2020
Noname tweeted: "we love an african aesthetic draped in capitalism. hope we remember the blk folks on the continent whose daily lives are impacted by u.s imperialism."
She continued "if we can uplift the imagery i hope we can uplift those who will never be able to access it. black liberation is a global struggle".
The "Self" artist then went on to retweet a Twitter user who replied to her tweet.
A fan on Twitter wrote "sis, they're killing us in Zimbabwe. literally. the world is turning a blind eye to the blatant human rights abuses we're facing every single day. our black lives clearly don't matter".
Noname then replied: "they matter to me".
She also posted an Essence feature, written by Burundian writer Judicaelle Irakoze titled "Why We Must Be Careful When Watching Beyoncé’s ‘Black Is King’".
A point in the article reads: "There is a real danger in romanticizing pre-colonial Africa. The glorification of kingdoms before white men met us erases the reality that Africa wasn't exactly a paradise."
The journalistic piece continues "African kingdoms were rife with slavery, imperialism, women’s oppression and class oppression. Not everyone was a king or even a queen."
The article also refers to Beyonce as a "powerful transcending artist" with a "right to tap into her Africanness", yet holds the star accountable for "willingly, through her art, participates in telling romanticized African royalty stories, rooted in glamorizing Africa, she indirectly dehumanizes our Africanness".
See fans reactions to Noname's criticism below,
Would you have liked it if the African looked poor and hungry?? You saw Africans being themselves and being part of an amazing body of art and looking good at that and you called it an aesthetic?? The real Africa is what small huts and torn clothes and hungry looking children?— Beyoncé stan (@Nonny_Mpata) July 31, 2020
Bridging the gap and providing beautiful imagery of Africa and the diaspora was the goal but you missed that. Should we shield black American culture from the world too? It was a win for blackness. And no one is ready to discuss Chinese imperialism on the African continent?— Savannah Britt (@sav_britt) August 1, 2020
Sis. We are tired of this version of Africa she's portraying, this ancient everybody's a king/queen idealism. It's so foreign to our reality and it's clear African Americans are only interested in us for some antiquated ancestral imagery which they draw validation from, not US.— VaMagumbo (@Ndini_Rumbi) July 31, 2020
Whew the beehive is so mad. Like actual Africans are giving real time response on how their daily lives are being impacted and Black Americans are saying shut up because Beyonce. Like, how? Make it make sense.— Jamillah (@Jamillah78) July 31, 2020
African Aesthetic has always been sensationalized to make white audiences feel comfortable. As a film major narratives have always been channeled through capitalism and neoliberalism the point is to sell your film including merchandise.— * kakashi ⚡️ (@XhristinaRoss) July 31, 2020
Whatever issue you have with that woman is deeper than capitalism but this bs that you typed is disrespectful asf to the actual African creatives that also worked hard on this film! Get it together!— hottie. (@htownstallionss) July 31, 2020
I don’t think a lot of ppl take into account that this was released on Disney+, A streaming service ran by the awful capitalist, human rights violating giant that is Disney. So not only in Africa but also in the US some don’t have access to it b/c it’s a paid subscription...— ABOLISHTHEPOLICE (@badgalbribri0) July 31, 2020
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