News: Beyonce's Feminism, Controversial Fela Tribute Gets Called Out
Saturday, Oct 15, 2011 6:15PM
Grammy-winning singer Beyonce can set aside her baby bump controversy for now, as it is her controversial February black face photo shoot paying tribute to late Nigerian musician/activist Fela Kuti which is now getting reexamined.
Based on an editorial piece by Huffington Post cultural critic Kirsten West Savali, Beyonce's tribute to Kuti represents her lack of knowledge of his past.
The fact that Beyonce Knowles, a self-proclaimed feminist who recently declared that "Girls Run The World", appeared in L'Officiel Paris in blackface to honor Fela and his 27 "Queens"-- even though he physically abused them -- is a testament to the one dimensional perspective through which we examine Fela. It is also an ironic reflection of his priorities that the controversy generated over the images was due to her unfortunate choice to mimic racist satire -- not her celebration of domestic violence, which disproportionately affects the Black and African-American women she claims to empower. In allowing herself to be blinded by his skewed mythology -- that she protects and proliferates through her "iconic" photoshoot -- she squandered an opportunity to not only speak out against violent crimes against women, but also to honor Fela's true Queen: his mother, Funmilayo. (Huffington Post)
Tensions rose last February when Beyonce appeared in L'Officiel Paris' March issue in black face.
The fashion magazine is about to celebrate its 90th birthday. To celebrate this anniversary, the festivities start with the March issue, with Beyoncé on the cover. The star agreed to pose for an incredible fashion shoot, with the theme of African Queen, paying a tribute to the legendary Fela Kuti (Nigerian political singer who died in 1997). Far from the glamorous Sasha Fierce, the beauty posed for the magazine in amazing fashion designer clothes, but also in a dress created by her mother. A return to her African roots, as you can see on the picture, on which her face was voluntarily darkened. (BN Bytes)
Following Beyonce's publicized photos, the magazine defended its shoot.
"The designs are all reflective of the African influence on fashion this season." The magazine continued: "As for the artistic make-up, the inspiration came from several African rituals during which paint is used on the face. We find the images beautiful and inspiring." (MTV UK)
Beyonce's husband/rapper Jay-Z became a producer for the "Fela" Broadway musical in 2009.
Jay-Z, Will Smith and Jada Pinkett Smith have signed on as producers of the new Broadway musical "Fela!" and will attend the show's opening night at the Eugene O'Neill Theater next Monday, Nov. 23, a publicist for the production said. "Fela!" represents the first time that Jay-Z and the Smiths have joined a producing team of a Broadway show. Their artistic involvement in the musical is bound to be minimal, given that the show is already in previews and had a critically acclaimed run Off Broadway last year. (New York Times)
Earlier in the week, Beyonce's camp denied reports claiming she was faking her pregnancy.
Check out Beyonce's photos below: