The video I chose to analyze is “Formation” by Beyoncé. This video has many hidden and nonhidden meanings behind it. The music video begins with a guy narrator saying, “What happened to the New Orleans” and then proceeding to show houses under water, police and their flashing lights, and Beyoncé sitting on top of a cop car that is submerged under water. These are events that are similar to the occurrences that happened in New Orleans but were forgotten. Beyoncé is advising people to not forget, that we need to remember traumatic events like those and make a change. During this video, the timeline was a little all over the place, it switched between the past and present multiple times.
Most of the people in the video are colored, the only people who were not, were the white cops. In this video, Beyoncé is trying to project the message that black lives matter and promote women empowerment.Beyoncé is trying to get across that one should be proud of their ethnicity and how they are born looking. At 0:45 Beyoncé sings, “I like my baby heir with baby hair and afros,” she proceeds to show a clip of her kid, with her natural hair seeming happy.
- Thesis Statement
- Structure and Outline
- Voice and Grammar
Beyoncé wants everyone to be happy with who they are. Then at 2:40, in the chorus, she sings, “Okay, ladies, now let’s get in formation, I slay,” at this point, she’s telling all the women to unite and to stand up and be proud of who they are. If women work together and not fight each other we can make a change. Towards the end, at 3:30, when she says, “I dream it, I work hard, I grind till I own it,” the video shows a newspaper article featuring Martin Luther King, with the title of, “More Than a Dreamer.” Beyoncé uses MLK to show that there will be changes, without violence, just like in the past. While listening to the music video I heard the word “bama” multiple times and was confused as to what this word meant.
According to Popsugar.com, “bama” is a racist term that was used during the Great Immigration, to describe blacks arriving North from the South. It referred to someone who did not know how to behave appropriately and was not presentable for whites. Beyoncé using this particular word in her song shows that she is proud of who she is and she wants her colored audience to be proud of who they are and how they were raised.