Short on time?

Get essay writing help

Reflective Essay on Idea and Activity of Black Lives Matter

Essay Type:
Words: 1989
Pages: 4
This essay sample was donated by a student to help the academic community. Papers provided by EduBirdie writers usually outdo students' samples.

Anyone who hears the lyrics “Okay ladies, now let’s get in formation” automatically thinks about Knowles (Beyoncé Giselle Knowles), especially if you are known to be a part of the Beehive (Knowles fanbase). “Formation” was one of the trendiest songs of the year 2016, many women around the world were singing and recreating the choreography to this song. Knowles is known for many things throughout the years, from singer, songwriter to record producer and actress. The meaning behind the song “Formation” and video was endless. She was able to address rumors that were going on about her and her family, black lives matter, the devastation that Hurricane Katrina caused to the state of Louisiana, and black feminism. Since Knowles “Formation” shows you what is going on in the world, some people were offended by how she expresses it from the public to media appearances. Many wrote articles about problems with the song and the impact that it caused. The scenes from the video represent the issues that are going on; the song continues to be an eye-opener throughout the years to come.

At the beginning of the video “Formation”, you will notice a police vehicle halfway submerged in water while Knowles is standing/ sitting on the hood of it, police siren flashing and a vest with the word police written on it. The scene in which a young black boy dances in front of a line of white police officers with a black hoodie raised his arm, and police officers immediately took me on the Black Lives Matter movement. The video following this, in particular, in which the word “Store Us” was painted spray on a wall. Black lives matter has been a significant part of many people’s lives, and the project was created in 2013 by Alicia Garza, Patrisse Cullors, and Opal Tometi. Black Lives Matter is a political and cultural intervention in a world where Black lives are steadily and deliberately targeted for destruction. It is an assertion of Black people humanity, our commitment to this society, and our bravery in the face of deadly oppression. During the murder of Trayvon Martin, who was shot and killed by George Zimmerman in Sanford, Florida, after making a 911 call for “suspicious activity,” Trayvon Martin was only 17 years old. As Black Lives Matter developed, we used it as a platform and an organizing tool. Other groups, organizations, and individuals have used it to amplify anti-Black racism across the country in all the ways it has emerged. Tamir Rice, Tanisha Anderson, Mya Hall, Walter Scott, Sandra Bland, these names are significant. The space that Black Lives Matter held and continues to hold helped spark conversation around the state-sanctioned violence they experienced. In particular, we highlighted the appalling ways in which black women, particularly trans-Black women, are being violated. Black Lives Matter has been developed to support all Black lives. The Black Lives Matter movement is creating a rigorous effort not to promote violence. It responds strongly when accused of committing acts of violence during protests. But this comes with the territory of a poorly structured community. When you establish or encourage protests and encourage everyone to get involved, the group itself and the movement bear the brunt of the guilt if some of them become violent or destructive. Throughout the struggle of making an impact for Black Lives Matter, the phrase “All Lives Matter” begun as a response to the Black Lives Matter movement soon after the movement managed to gain national attention. “All Lives Matter” reflects the view of racial dismissal, ignorance, and rejection. Later the groups “Blue Lives Matter”, White Lives Matter,” started in response to Black Lives Matter as well. Huge discussions on which was more important were going on for years on every social platform mostly with “Blue Lives Matter” which is the importance of the lives of law enforcement throughout the states.

Save your time!
We can take care of your essay
  • Proper editing and formatting
  • Free revision, title page, and bibliography
  • Flexible prices and money-back guarantee
Place Order

Between the first half of the video, Knowles’s oldest daughter Blue Ivy popped up with her hair in an afro and said, “I want my little heir with baby hair and fros,” which is the response for people who talked about her hair few years. It was a breath of fresh air to see all the blackness representations of the past and the present. It showed the African Americans’ long cultural history and how culture, such as tears and afros, has changed over time. “I like my negro nose with Jackson Five nostrils” (Knowles), I have noticed that this is all the critique of Jay-Z’s (Shawn Corey Carter) nostril, which has been mocked for years. I know this is not the case with Jackson Five nostrils. She has shown that she loves and is proud of the features of her child and husband, but I believe that she has also hinted that we should be proud and embrace our natural features and our blackness. In other words, in my opinion, her use of lyrics and political imagery is Knowles’s way of trying to help us decolonize our minds from cultural colonization. There were several backlashes when Knowles backup dancers were dressed like the Black Panthers with their berets, afros, and their fists in the air, as many rightly felt they were. Black women know, in particular, the challenges that come with being intentional about power, how they get it, how they keep it, how to understand that they deserve it. Black women have often been depicted as loud, shrill, shimmering caricatures of womanhood. Knowles takes every single negative label that has been slapped on Black women and proudly claims all of them. She’s screaming, shrill, and she’s swaying her arms all the way to “Formation,” and she’s dared to criticize. Everything that’s been taught to get away from as Black women are on display, and Knowles urges us to throw away all our hang-ups and to be true to who Black women are to rock your fake hair or to wear it natural, have intercourse with who you want and when you want to, make your money, don’t be afraid to be strong. Be humble and gracious, but never miss a chance to thump your chest and praise yourself for your accomplishments. Black Feminism argues that Black women’s experience gives rise to a specific perception of their position in relation to patriarchy, class oppression, and discrimination. The perception of being a black woman, he insists, cannot be understood in terms of either being black or being a woman. Understand that you’re not necessarily going to be heard, and that’s all right. Understand that there will be people who don’t want to see you succeed, and that’s all right, too. There are other layers of ‘Formation’ that will be unpacked in the coming days: its approach to racism, the Black Lives Matter movement, the government’s stance to social and economic issues including the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.

From the beginning of the video I saw the floods that caught my attention and thought of Hurricane Katrina, which landed in the morning of August 2005 and distorted the area. While some of them are giddy by the metaphor that Knowles body is submerged by water, I noticed images of bloated bodies of grandmas and grandparents, cousins, uncles, great aunts, and nieces drifting through the floodwaters like scrap wood. These were all photos that flew through my computer screen to replay as I watched the video. These were the horror stories told to me by the victims of the hurricane. Tens of thousands were killed indirectly as a result of medical complications, suicide, heart failure, post-traumatic stress disorder, or murder in the months and years following the storm. From someone else’s point of view, it would seem that Knowles, moving to the aftermath of Katrina, is centering New Orleans, but it is not. Actually, it exacerbates the trauma; a lot of people have been upset by the video, and what they have witnessed throughout it has caused a lot of controversy. The US government and authorities have been widely criticized for not doing enough to help the African American victims of Hurricane Katrina, which devastated and flooded the poorest parts of the city in 2005. Hurricane Katrina landed off the coast of Louisiana on August 2005. This hit land like a Category 3 hurricane with winds hitting speeds as high as miles per hour. Because of the destruction and loss of life that followed is often considered to be one of the worst storms in U.S. history. It is estimated that thousands of people died as a direct result of the storm, which also cost an estimated billion property damage, making it the most expensive storm ever recorded. The devastating aftermath of Hurricane Katrina opened a number of deep-rooted problems, including disputes over the federal government’s response, difficulties in search and rescue efforts, and lack of attentiveness for the storm, especially with regard to the city’s aging series of levees, fifty of which failed during the storm, significantly flooded the low lying city and caused much of the storm. Katrina’s casualties tended to be low income and African Americans in an inconsistent number, and many of those who lost their homes encountered years of suffering. 10 years after the tragedy, the phrase, ‘What began out as a natural disaster became a manmade disaster, a failure of the government to look out for its own people,’ (Obama) said. The town of New Orleans and other coastal communities in Katrina have remained significantly altered more than an era after the storm, both physically and culturally. The destruction was so severe that some critics suggested, controversially, that New Orleans should be forever demolished, even as the city vowed to recover. According to the Data Center Report, the population of New Orleans fell by more than half in the year after Katrina. As of this article, the city has grown back to almost eighty percent from where it was before the storm.

Knowles’s work shows that revolution can be beautiful; protest and celebration are not contradictions in imagining a black future that is not overrun by images of black pain and death. In the final sequence of the video, an African American child in a hoodie ‘gets light;’ the dance is a challenge to, but still in dialog with, a police line in formation. His dance comes to an end as he raises his hands up in surrender; the police line raises their hands in response. If the message is not clear, a quick cut to the graffiti wall with the words ‘stop shooting us’. And then, as a gesture, Knowles, using the weight of her own body, drops a police patrol car into the floodwaters to give birth to a new life. Women and children will put the future to fruition, it says; maybe, it says, maybe women and children can. ‘Formation’ is not only a scathing critique of how society has dealt with the African American battle for empowerment, but also a call to arms in and of itself. Knowles strongly urges an immediate and necessary re-emergence of the civil rights movement and a broader dialog on intersectional xenophobia. In classic Knowles fashion, she did so without warning, but at a time when we needed her most. Knowles has served us with some realism, and it is high time we heard her call for action and work to empower both African American women and the African American community as a whole. Knowles is a black woman artist who creates black art for black women. She’s not stealing from or appropriating black culture. She’s not touching her feet in the flow of the various elements that surround American blackness. No, she creates a work that appeals to an audience that might not obtain the kind of popular, creatively and sonically appealing insight that Knowles has mastered. This truth has never been more well defined than that of ‘Formation,’ its new off-kilter, sometimes borderline weird trap song, which dropped on Saturday afternoon.

Make sure you submit a unique essay

Our writers will provide you with an essay sample written from scratch: any topic, any deadline, any instructions.

Cite this Page

Reflective Essay on Idea and Activity of Black Lives Matter. (2022, August 12). Edubirdie. Retrieved October 3, 2023, from
“Reflective Essay on Idea and Activity of Black Lives Matter.” Edubirdie, 12 Aug. 2022,
Reflective Essay on Idea and Activity of Black Lives Matter. [online]. Available at: <> [Accessed 3 Oct. 2023].
Reflective Essay on Idea and Activity of Black Lives Matter [Internet]. Edubirdie. 2022 Aug 12 [cited 2023 Oct 3]. Available from:
Join 100k satisfied students
  • Get original paper written according to your instructions
  • Save time for what matters most
hire writer

Fair Use Policy

EduBirdie considers academic integrity to be the essential part of the learning process and does not support any violation of the academic standards. Should you have any questions regarding our Fair Use Policy or become aware of any violations, please do not hesitate to contact us via

Check it out!
search Stuck on your essay?

We are here 24/7 to write your paper in as fast as 3 hours.