Civil War Institute
Not only did Beyoncé slay in her latest music video, but she got historical. Her single "Formation" touches on feminism, oppression, sexuality, and police brutality, and her video offers a visual representation for the overall theme of African American cultural ownership. It is, of course, an essential message for contemporary discussion, and the formerly-silenced subject is beginning to achieve prevalence in the music industry, but there is something special and bold about Beyoncé’s take on race: by appealing to Civil War memory and forcing viewers to accept the African American struggle for life, freedom, and success, she is shattering perceptions of one of our country’s most popular areas of historical study. What’s more? She’s a woman. [excerpt]
This is the author's version of the work. This publication appears in Gettysburg College's institutional repository by permission of the copyright owner for personal use, not for redistribution.
Jensen, Anika N., "Causing Conversation: Civil War Memory in Beyoncé’s “Formation”" (2016). The Gettysburg Compiler: On the Front Lines of History. 117.