Beyoncé’s ‘Black Is King’: A Celebration of Blackness

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Beyoncé’s ‘Black Is King’ emphasizes the importance of knowing one’s roots. In the end, the audience is in awe of the richness of Black culture.

According to Kwasi Fordjour, the film did not start as a grand project. It evolved from a simple video into a full-length production. After Beyoncé decided she wanted to do more visual videos, they began planning.

The process started nearly a year ago. Fordjour mentioned as they began talking more and more about the film, he quickly became excited.

Since the “Black Is King” release, celebrities including Kerry Washington, Adele, and Keke Palmer have sung its praises. The film managed to score a 95 percent on Rotten Tomatoes. Everything from the visuals to the cinematography has become iconic.

Filming Location

One of the most notable parts of the film was the setting. Various scenes displayed beautiful scenery. While the film focuses on life in Africa, it is important to note that some film locations include Ghana, South Africa, Los Angeles, Belgium, and London.

In the video for “Already,” the featured tree is from Beyonce’s backyard. Fordjour stated that it took the longest to film because it was the first video.

He said Beyoncé wanted to shoot at her house. He agreed eagerly and started the filming process. Fordjour was not the only one enthralled in the process. Fashion curator Zerina Akers also spoke of the star’s style.

Akers stated that with Beyonce, one must always prepare for changes in production. She talked about keeping extra accessories and keeping a suitcase packed with luxury clothes. She says Beyonce may initially want to film in a simple T-shirt. Typically, the end product ends in a lavish costume.

Memorable Moments

Even though many people have voiced their opinions about which scene is most memorable, Akers says the backyard scene was her favorite. She explained that Beyonce’s mother, Tina, was a last-minute addition to the scene. Styling her was what made the scene so memorable. Akers went on to gush about Beyoncé and Jay-Z’s daughter — Blue Ivy.

She says Blue Ivy constantly surprises the crew. Akers says the 8-year old chose which scenes she in which she performed. According to ET Online, “Blue will see her mother doing a shot she thinks is cool,” and she will say, “I want to do that.”

Audience Reactions

Despite the praise the film is receiving, the film has faced some criticism. Some critics believe that “Black Is King” combines all African cultures, inherently ignoring their differences.

Moreover, the film seems to have multiple aspects of capitalist values. Due to this, some people are upset with the singer and feel a more in-depth film needs to be made. Many critics say “Black Is King” does nothing for the Black community.

On the other hand, some argue the lack of depth actually connects Black people to the film. Due to the harsh conditions of slavery, Black Americans are unsure of where they come from. Instead, they are left to wonder with a sense of pride and regret. The film highlights this through its continuous references to African ancestors. It emphasizes the joy of being Black while also acknowledging the struggles that follow.

Final Thoughts

Additionally, “Black Is King” filming in multiple locations reaffirms this idea. The film promotes the idea that Black people have roots worldwide from Africa to Europe, all the way to America.

Although Black Americans are not sure where they come from, there is still some connection to their roots. After all, where does one begin their search when knowledge of their heritage has been stripped away?

The lack of depth in African culture is a nod to the fact that Black Americans’ knowledge of their history is limited, resulting from colonialism and slavery. Black Americans must find their connection back to their ancestors through themselves. So as Beyoncé says in the film, “Long live the king, you a king, you know it.”

Written by Reginae Echols
Edited by Cathy Milne-Ware


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PressForm: Beyoncé’s ‘Black Is King’ Co-Director Shares Behind-the-Scenes Secrets From Filming (Exclusive)

NPR: Beyoncé’s ‘Black Is King’ Is A Sumptuous Search For Divine Identity

Featured Image Courtesy of Caroline Delaney’s Flickr Page – Creative Commons License

Top Image Courtesy of Ronald Woan’s Flickr Page – Creative Commons License


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