Beyoncé’s New Video For “Formation” Is A Sign The Black Y2k Is Coming


There was so much blackness in the video that the universe is going to experience a blackness eclipse. Beyoncé broke the blackness sound barrier, and now, there will be excessive levels of blackness radiating all over the globe. Peak blackness has been reached exceeding all levels of blackness that have been recorded since the release of Shaft (1971). Run to the store and stock up on collards, cornmeal, and hot sauce now.

Honestly I haven’t been a Beyoncé fan since her “Dangerously In Love” years circa 2001. I have struggled with her lack of activism and virtual silence on racism in America. While I have always had an immense amount of respect for Beyoncé’s vocal talent and penchant for a lit performance, I haven’t been entirely impressed with her race and gender politics. But, her new video is changing some things for me.

First of all, can we get a moment of silence for Beyoncé’s ability to highlight literally every Black girl hairstyle in this video? From long braids to afros to twist outs to rope braids, they were all there. Most importantly, she had little Blue Ivy frolicking around in peak curl-pattern-popping-carefree-black-girl realness (can I get a yassssss?).


Second, the images and variations of southern Black experiences are featured so prominently in the video that it’s almost shocking. “Formation” is set in the South, particularly, New Orleans. While the song itself is light on lyrics, it is full of gorgeous imagery and even at times difficult to view messages about the conditions of the city in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. Most of Bey’s shots take place as she sits atop a sinking New Orleans Police vehicle that is becoming more and more engulfed by the flood waters around it. This is clearly meant to invoke the conditions facing many southern Americans, especially Black folks, after the levees gave way.

A particularly powerful image was of a hooded child dancing in front of a line of officers clad in SWAT gear. At the end of his dance, they all put their hands in the air. This comes after the words “Stop shooting us” pan across the screen. These are simply astounding allegorical messages that are rarely included in projects from such high-profile entertainers.


Last, this is the most crunk we have ever seen Beyoncé. From calling her haters “corny” for accusing her of being in the Illuminati to her repeating “I slay all day,” Yoncé was at peak turneduppedness.

Beyonce Formation dance

The line that had me completely laid out (among others) was “I got hot sauce in my bag, swag.” Some of my other favorites were: “I like my baby hair with baby hair and afros” and “I like my negro nose with Jackson Five nostrils.”

Word is, Beyoncé will be performing the song at tomorrow’s Super Bowl game during halftime. Now I have to watch the game to ensure that my blackness levels remain on par with the rest of my clique.

We knew this day was coming. The signs of an oncoming blackness event were all there. Serena posed on those two bars a few months ago like she does the splits for breakfast. Michelle Obama made a rap video. It’s Black History Month. After this video, tomorrow’s Super Bowl game performance might cancel everyone’s electricity.

I have my hot sauce and my ranch in my bag. Even though Bey snatched all my edges, I have a jar of Blue Magic to grease for this event. I’m ready for the Black Y2k.

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Jenn M. Jackson

Jenn M. Jackson, PhD is a co-Founder and Editor-in-Chief of Water Cooler Convos. She is a native of Oakland, CA. Jenn is a radical Black feminist scholar who believes none of us are free until all of us are free.

2 Responses

  1. Sarah says:

    Oh boy. I’m really gonna celebrate when all that straw man Illuminati stuff dies out.
    But anyway, this Y2K sounds loads better than the other Y2K. And if anyone absolutely had to flip me the bird I wouldn’t mind it being Beyoncé.

  2. anonymous guy says:

    I’m not sure you remember how y2k was a joke