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The image of a young black boy with his hands up in front of police stood out to me. There are clips that reference the police brutality that the African American community has become all too familiar with. Beyoncé uses this imagery to express how this is an issue that has existed in the past and is not yet respelled. The lyrics that stand out to me are the ones that describe stereotypical African American features, such as afros, “negro nose,” and others. I found these lyrics interesting in particular because Beyoncé takes pride in these things about her culture. She is completely unashamed and shares that message with the world. This is important for black women in America to hear because they are often told by society and media that they need to change some aspect of themselves to fit beauty standards. Beyoncé calls all women to come together and be proud of their natural features, skin color, hair type, and culture. This song is both art and activism. I see it as art because it is has a unique sound that is different than other popular songs on the radio. It is also art because it makes people feel something. Even those who cannot understand or do not relate to the topics of this piece can still feel a certain way. As an artist, Beyoncé challenges many topics that need to be discussed and she does it in such a way that is beautiful to see and hear. It is also activism because she uses her art to shed light on the current problems that the African American community faces.
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