So last Sunday was the 2016 BET Awards. I know, I know. I’m hella late. I actually started writing this earlier in the week, but then I got sick so life got put on hold for a moment. So without further ado, here are my top five blackest moments of the 2016 BET Awards:
1. Beyoncé & K Dot’s hella lit “Freedom” performance
I wasn’t home when the awards first aired, so I had already heard Beyoncé was performing. But when I watched it later (praise God for DVR), I still thought she was a hologram at first. ‘Cause seeing Beyoncé at the BET Awards is like seeing a shooting star. During the daytime. While blindfolded.
But anyways, her and Kendrick’s “Freedom” performance was lit. I had already seen her perform it in concert, but her collab with K Dot took it to a whole ‘nother level. It embodied so much symbolism, and as a writer, it was too hard for me to ignore. When she spread her arms, her costume resembled a Black Phoenix rising from the ashes, the perfect metaphor for the resilience that Black people naturally embody and a foreshadow to our revolutionary rise from oppression into a position of power. Her tribal-printed dancers, who are all in formation and are ready for war, represent our numerous ancestors who were stripped of their homeland, humanity, culture and identity to be labeled as property. The interlude leading into Kendrick’s verse looked very much like an ancient, ritualistic war cry. And when she and K Dot were splashing around in the water on stage, these were the words that came to mind: Rebirth. Purification. Renewal. Restructure. Freedom. It was the perfect introduction to a four-hour-long telecast of unapologetic blackness.
2. Beyoncé dipping the second she got off the stage
Beyoncé is basically that one cousin who never comes to any of the family functions. And when they finally do show up, they fix them a plate and leave without anyone realizing when they left exactly.
3. Mama Tina being a real mama
Mama Tina accepting Bey’s award and then writing a novel-length post on IG defending her daughter’s absence was like every Black mama coming up to the school and cussing out the teacher for not giving their baby an A on the science project she stayed up all night creating.
4. Jesse Williams giving everyone the
Greatest Read Of All Time
First off, let me just say how shocked I was that Viacom didn’t have the producers cut to commercial in the middle of Jesse Williams’ eloquently delivered, well-deserved read to the entire United States of America. Aside from the fact that JW is one of my Top 10 on my Bae List, his acceptance speech for the Humanitarian Award was the epitome of everything and then some. And was it just me, or did the gum chewing add just a lil bit more eff it-ness to his delivery?? As phenomenal as it was, I don’t think that speech would’ve been quite the same without the gum. And this quote right here drove it right on home:
“Ghettoizing and demeaning our creations, then stealing them, gentrifying our genius, then trying us on like costumes before discarding our bodies like rinds of strange fruit. The thing is though, just because we’re magic doesn’t mean we’re not real.”
*runs down the aisleway*
*jumps up and down*
*passes out at the alter*
5. J Hud leading us into worship during her Prince tribute
I heard J Hud got a lot of backlash for sounding too “churchy” during her rendition of Purple Rain. Haters always gon’ hate doe. Personally, I loved her rendition. She sang that song like a true Baptist choir soloist — with hella pipes, and hella soul. AND THAT ENDING? Yeah. She killed it.