Beyoncé’s Grammy snub was a snub against Black culture
Beyoncé Giselle Knowles-Carter should have won Album of the Year at the 59th annual Grammy awards. Fact. These are not alternative facts, this is not subjective, and it’s not because I am a Beyoncé fan. It’s simply the truth. Some will debate me and say that Adele had the better album (which by the way even Adele admitted she didn’t deserve the Grammy) but this is not about Adele. It’s about the lack of representation overall when it comes to recognizing a body of work when it’s created by a black person.
“Here she goes! Is she really about to make Beyoncé not winning a Grammy about race?” I sure am. How is it possible that only three black women have ever won Album of the Year? Lauryn Hill was the last black woman to nab the award back in 1999 for the “Miseducation of Lauryn Hill.” Natalie Cole and Whitney Houston are the only other two black women who were deemed talented enough to win. Not Janet Jackson. Not Patti Labelle. Not Chaka Khan. Not Mariah Carey. Not Aretha Franklin. I can go on, and every black woman you probably thought had the award does not.
But Taylor Swift does, how Sway? This doesn’t have anything to do with Taylor, somehow whenever her name is mentioned all people can think of is Kanye West. And then she becomes a victim. It has everything to do with black people not being seen. Our culture and music are always mishandled, poorly represented, or worse left out altogether when it comes to these award shows. Based on work ethic alone Beyoncé should have won. Okay, that is a stan comment, but am I lying?
From the poetry that was used to the lyrics, Beyoncé created something that changed the way we experienced music. The “Lemonade” album changed the way America experienced Black women. It gently touched on our pain, exposed our flaws, and showed America that we are human. It made us sit still for a moment to bask in our blackness and be proud.
Beyoncé is not just one of the biggest superstars, she is an artist. She reflected the times with her music.
Lyrically, “Lemonade” took a stand against oppression, police brutality, racism, and sexism. And even with all of that, she weaved in one of the most real love stories she has ever told. It wasn’t pretty or even deserving of the popular hashtag #relationshipGoals it was honest, raw, and uncut. It’s debatable if this was her story but we can all agree that it was honest.
RollingStone listed five reasons why Beyoncé didn’t receive album of the year. Two of those reasons had to do with race and age. White older men represent a large amount of the Grammy committee. When it comes to diversity America is known for screaming it on every loudspeaker to the world but rarely is it implemented. Would older white men know the cultural relevance of the “Lemonade” album? Did they take the time out to watch the visual album or did they sit back and say, “Beyoncé performed at the super bowl and paid tribute to a hate group.” Without first doing proper research to understand that the Black Panther Party is not a hate group.
This is bigger than receiving a Grammy, it’s knowing without a shadow of a doubt that America refuses to understand and acknowledge our contributions to this country. They don’t care and it’s obvious. Just because you apologize for saying “Hidden Fences,” “Boxer braids,” “Bo Derek braids,” “Twisted Mini Buns,” and plagiarizing an entire speech, (hey Melania Trump) does not right the wrong. It shows your lack of respect for our culture. White America loves to appropriate our culture but refuses to give us their shiny awards. And by the way, CeCe Winans is NOT Shirley Caesar, yes I caught that shit too. The Grammy’s didn’t skip a beat repeating George Michael’s images when Adele abruptly stopped mid-performance but somehow they couldn’t manage to take two seconds to google Shirley Caesar and hit images?
So, if they couldn’t manage to do a proper image search I think it’s safe to say they didn’t take the time to properly review the “Lemonade” album. What’s more embarrassing is the fact that singer Adele had to remind millions of viewers watching that even she knew the Grammy should have gone to Beyoncé. Why do we keep singing and dancing for people who don’t appreciate us?
The answer, black people want to be included. At the end of the day we are Americans, we watch the super bowl just like every other American family. We barbecue and dress up in red, white, and blue on the 4th of July to celebrate independence day, just like every other Amercian. And when a black artist creates a solid body of music, it should be recognized…just like every other artist.
“What the fuck does she have to do to win Album of the Year?” Adele asked bluntly after the Grammy’s ended in a post interview. Adele, we are still asking that question girl. But our question is more like, What the fuck do Black people have to do to be included in America?