As is my habit, if I can muster up any interest in award shows at all, I refuse to sit through them ‘live’; I will dvr and watch at my convenience and more importantly, I get to fast-forward through hours of the bullshit. So, last night, I finally sat down to speed my way through the highlights of Sunday’s Grammy Award show. Trust me I will also be fast-forwarding through this recounting.
We will not speak about Kanye. Good for Sam Smith! Rihanna still holds her position as ‘Most Boring Live Entertainer’ and Madonna? Coulda done without that. Pharrell did indeed make me “happy” with his imagery, symbolisms and little cute self. Prince was wearing what? And, his hair….? Loved Katy Perry’s performance! So, these are the highlights that good or bad, my remote and I found note-worthy. And, like the producers of the show, I am also leaving Beyonce’s performance for last.
It is very well documented how much of a fan of hers I am; but, I admit that she slipped a rung or two on my ladder with regard to her performance. This opinion reflects both my judgment (yes, I said the ‘j’ word) of her singing and my opinion on the fact that she sang…that song. I have always maintained that my girl-crush on Beyonce has little to do with her artistry as a singer and more to do with her work-ethic, style and grace; as, it goes without saying that there are many greater voices than hers. But, after watching her performance last evening, she’s lost points from me in the “grace” category.
I’m gonna take this here for a few little minutes; let’s address this: whether Beyonce was asked or volunteered to sing this particular song, in my opinion, she should not only have refused, but graciously insisted that it be performed by Ledisi… for a number of reasons (better singer/rendition, she (Ledisi) was in the building for fuck’s sake, Beyonce does not need the spot/highlight). But for me, another more important reason is this – these are the moments that with one move, one decision, we get to truly affect and shine the spotlight (no pun intended) on the issues we are currently experiencing. Beyonce had the very unique, public, shit, worldwide-viewing opportunity to, instead of standing up, to literally and figuratively sit down in solidarity. This was a moment that could have easily and classily been used as a ‘teachable moment’ – truly, unquestionably, gracefully, powerfully and without any words confirming that #blacklivesmatter! Instead I feel that she did what so many of us constantly do – stand on the backs of those we so-call claim to support – to “get mine”.
The movie ‘Selma’ has been touted as being so very important to us blacks and necessary for those whites to see. So many of us blacks raised our hashtagged voices against the snobbery at movies’ highest award ceremony – what better way would there have been for a celebrity, a black celebrity, a female black celebrity to have infused the importance of this movie’s message and stand in symbolic solidarity against what yall are so up in arms about with regard to our treatment, than, for five minutes of the world’s time, to force them to watch and acknowledge, hear and listen to Ledisi? She (Beyonce) had the opportunity to hold the entire world captive (by proxy) and demonstrate what it truly means to not only stand in unison, but to strengthen, uphold and empower each other.
Instead, my girl opted to do what so many do – yell when the masses are yelling, only to go dark when handed a platinum-plated opportunity to truly take a stance. Shame on her!
True solidarity is more than a well-placed sound-bite…