“Black is King,” musical video

William T. Robinson, Jr.

The recent releasing of the “Black is King,” a musical video of Beyonce’s adaptation to the “2019 Lion King Musical was well received by most people as a masterpiece.   It was a captivating, descriptive, motivating, and creative narrative depicting the beauty of people of Africa and African descent.  It captured the dignity, intelligence, creativity, perseverance, spirituality and cultural diversity of beautiful people of African ancestry.  It was especially informative and educating coming from an Afro centric perspective, exposing and delivering the cultural expressions of a unique and innovative people.

This narrative from a black perspective proved crucial in helping to erase the negative and self-deprecating images 400 plus years in America have played on too many African Americans. By acknowledging and presenting our historic roles as kings, queens, warriors and the original initiators, of education, science, medicine, and philosophies, it helped dismissed the myths by our white oppressors- myths relegating African Americans and people of Africa as inferior and inconsequential. It exposed the world to the true greatness and intellectual prowess of an ever-evolving people with unwavering   relevance to those from their past. Some see it only second to the movie, The Black Panther in projecting and introducing the world to the captivating beauty, intellect, cultural relevance and resilience of people of African descent.

While as Americans, we have been indoctrinated   and assimilated to accept everything from a European perspective, robbing us of the diversity we would have enjoyed, being more inclusive of accepting practices and customs of other cultures.  This video   was not only a shot in the arm in building the pride and self-esteem of many Blacks manifesting self-hate and a sense of hopelessness, but it also gave our White counterparts a   better appreciation of the truth of our greatness, beauty, and creativity.  For the most part it exposed what a large number of African Americans already knew and for generations have been secretly embedding in their children.

Unfortunately, too many Blacks who come across as too proud and confident in this country are often vilified and demonized by the powers to be, seeking to keep these people in their place as subordinates.  Being in a position to control the narrative and dictate constructs to keep a group down has its privileges for oppressors, as historically manifested in our country’s history.

It will take more than a handful of videos, movies, or books to change the psyche of many Americans who have become comfortable accepting status quo. But the video was a welcoming start to changing   the mindset of those exposed to the lies and deception of past generations.  While the Black is King video was a hit, you found some Africans exceptionally proud to have Africa shown not just as primitive tribes in the bush, but as a diverse continent manifesting countries with sophisticated cities, comparable to none.

Sadly, there were some Africans who felt the video showcased too much animal prints which categorically is seen as a major stereotype in describing Africa by our western white media.  There were some Africans who felt the absence of Pan- Africa in the video with the heavy emphasis on the cultures of Nigeria, and South Africa with the omission of the cultures of Kenya and the East Africa region as regretting.  While people are entitled to their opinions, many find it difficult to understand why someone would spend their energy hating and trying to tear something down as positive as educating the world to a real and positive aspect of Africa and people of African descent.  One movie cannot cover the cultural diversity of the 52 countries of Africa.

Any negative connotation of the video just goes to show how successfully the powers to be have done their job in poisoning Blacks against each other keeping them from uniting together to further their purpose by uniting as a people.  But many native Africans are very defensive how their countries are portrayed by the Western world.

The video paid homage to the Black experience in dance, music, our ancestral past, nature, melanin, spirituality, and our deference to our elders and ancestors.  It portrayed and celebrated the epitome of the Black experience in this universe.  It opened us as Blacks to see our undeniable greatness and purpose in life.

As a retired educator, I have seen too many Black students walking around with their heads down manifesting poor self esteem and feeling they are inferior to their White counterparts. This sense of inferiority is only fueled when their books highlight the achievements and accomplishments of Whites’ rarely acknowledging people of color.  Our young children need to know at a very young age that they are exceptional, second to none, and deserving of justice and equality.  When young White children are exposed to the true history, intellect, and beauty of Blacks they will have a better appreciation and respect for Blacks, contrary to the negative indoctrination from racists families, still promoting white supremacy.  Everyone wins and benefits especially our country.

For those who are well versed in African history, this video presented nothing new, but can help as a conduit in educating those who are none the wiser.  We cannot dismiss the extent of deception and exploitation utilized in systemically etching racism in every institution and corporation in this country and the fight that will prevail to sustain that control.  Only when the masses are open to the truth which can be attained by self-study, reality, and education will we be better prepared to tackle, break down, and changed the historical, diabolical, and treacherous plan to continue to subjugate and deprive a whole group of people of equality and justice by trivializing their self worth.

We can only hope more movies and projects are in store to help educate and remove the mental chains imposed on African Americans and others keeping them from knowing the truth to who we are and what we must do to overcome plans to keep African Americans subjugated.  Thanks, Beyoncé for helping to educate and expose the world to the history and beauty of Africa and people of African ancestry.