Beyoncé criticized for apparent homage to Black Panthers during Super Bowl halftime show
Beyoncé is being criticized for her Super Bowl halftime performance for what appeared to be a tribute to the Black Panther Party.
Beyoncé took the field, flanked by dancers sporting Afros while dressed in black leather and black berets, which some say are similar to the black berets worn by members of the ‘60s black nationalist organization, to perform a part of Beyoncé’s new single “Formation.”
Beyoncé released “Formation” on Saturday, a new black power anthem that makes reference to the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina and the mass protests across the U.S. against the police killings of unarmed black men.
During the halftime show, as Beyoncé twerked her way through “Formation,” her backup dancers were seen raising their fists in the air, a gesture symbolic of the Panthers’ movement. The group also danced their way into a “X” formation, which some say was political statement about Malcolm X.
However, many thought Beyoncé, herself, was dressed to pay tribute to the late Michael Jackson.
Following the performance, some of Beyoncé’s dancers were photographed holding a sign that read: “Justice 4 Mario Woods” with their clenched fists raised in the air.
However, Instagram video of the dancers appears to show that the girls were asked by someone on the field at Levi’s Stadium if they could hold the sign.
Woods, 26, was fatally shot by a San Francisco police officer in December. Police said the man was armed with a knife and was shot after approaching an officer and refusing to drop the knife.
Following the halftime show, the hashtag #BoycottBeyonce began to trend on Twitter where some social media users accused Beyoncé and her song “Formation” as being anti-cop and pro Black Lives Matter.
On Friday, singer Alicia Keys made mention of the shooting death of Woods during a pre-Super Bowl performance outside of Levi’s Stadium.
After acknowledging that she heard some of the protesters, Keys said: “I want to thank you for your commitment to make sure justice is done for Mario Woods.”
She added that “as the mother of two black sons, it breaks my heart to” to see young men gunned down.
–with files from The Associated Press
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