The clan of pseudo intellectual digital “Black power” referendumists, referred to widely as “Hoteps,” say she’s a capitalist puppet controlled by the illuminati. They can’t tell you exactly who or what the illumanati is, but according to them she’s part of it. And unless she humbles herself adorned in natural hair, head scarves and ankh pieces (I just described myself freshman year of college), she is not to be trusted. She can do no right.

She has to be Harriet Tubman. She must retire her career in entertainment to be an emancipator of slaves in order to redeem herself before their “overstood” consciousness. – Because “blonde hair.”

On the other far end of the spectrum, the religious sect that worships the edges and finger nail clippings of Beyonce Holy Mother of “Slayage,” known widely as the BeyHive, say she’s a revolutionary leading us to the light of Black liberation. There are discrepancies as to how Black liberation is defined, what it looks like and how it operates, but according to them she is definitely the leader of our time. And unless you humble yourself before King Bey, exclaiming in repetition “slay” or “yasssssss” or “she snatched my edges,” you are not to be trusted. You can do no right.

She has to be Harriet Tubman. She must be our leader of Black freedom, the epitome of Black feminism, the reincarnation of African goddesses here to restore your dignity in Blackness. – Because “hot sauce.”


If you’re not inclined to believe she’s a CIA agent but you’re also not inclined to believe she’s the savior of performed Black identity, you’re going to be silenced. This silencing will be led by the usual “Bill Cosby was about to buy NBC” suspects but also by the very people who crusade against silencing on social media every other day. Yet, it doesn’t matter because it appears the people have come to a decision. If you’re not critiquing how and what we tell you to critique, you’re the enemy and shall not be tolerated. Still, when it comes to racists declaring that she is somehow “anti-police” because she wore a black leotard vaguely reminiscent of Michael Jackson and the Black Panther Party, we all call b.s. That in at least one way, is comforting.

We have not completely shamed our ancestors.

Whatever you’re inclined to believe, please remember that Beyonce can be an entertainer you loathe or love but she does not have to be Harriet Tubman. She is not beneath critical acclaim simply because she doesn’t meet your ideal image of Black political consciousness. And she is not above critical analysis simply for being your fabulously talented fave.

Take that for however you interpret it to mean and get in your own formation.

BeyoncéVevo / via Zahra Barnes
BeyoncéVevo / via Zahra Barnes


Jessica Ann Mitchell-Aiwuyor is a writer, social justice advocate and the founder of Our Legaci. Learn more about her work at Rant or rave to

@TweetingJAM –

9 thoughts on “Y’all Want Beyonce To Be Harriet Tubman So Bad

  1. JAM!!!! You better stop before both the hoteps and the BeyHive come for you. But for real, I’m so glad you said this. It’s like we’re in the twilight zone. I guess Beyonce has that effect. I’m just glad there are still sensible people willing to step back from the madness. Formation is a great video but it still has issues. Either way, some people’s reactions are way overboard.

  2. Yes! Thanks for your insight on this. Since that video dropped, folks have been going crazy like she created the “new Black Power movement” , and she the new face of southern Blackness. But, what folks fail to realize is that Beyonce is a proponent of “Black capitalism”, dropping a video a day before the Super Bowl, in which she premiered as a performer, and currently launching a Formation World Tour with tickets selling for 1,200 at the least! She also makes references to being a black female Bill Gates and her references to Red Lobster boosted their sales by over 30%! And let’s not forget that the best revenge is yo’ paper! I’m proud of you!!

  3. Interesting post. Some of it I agree with. Of course we know Beyoncé is not Harriet Tubman. No more than Raven Symone is Ida B. Wells. Beyoncé is just an entertainer who used this moment to get people talking and to create interest in her upcoming tour. Since I read Afrocentric books,love sistas listen to conscious hip hop and eat healthy…I guess that makes me one of those “hotep n*ggas” everyone pokes fun at nowadays. It’s cool though,I don’t mind. I understand that gaining knowledge of self is looked at as corny and played out. People make fun of things they don’t understand. I think the thing that makes many of us laugh is that people who aren’t in the “conscious group” are making it seem like Beyoncé did some super brave We already know what Queen Bee is about so this performance was nothing revolutionary at all. I do like the fact that this post tried to be balanced to both sides. The “conscious pro-black” crowd can go overboard in bashing her at times. And the “pro-Beyoncé” crowd can go overboard in supporting everything she does. As if she can do no wrong. I can see both sides of the equation. But those of us who can see the bigger picture know what Beyoncé is and is not.

    1. I agree. Frankly all the articles were getting on my nerves. I had to hide folks on my timeline because it was just too much! And honestly it was the “pro” beyonce fans wrecking my nerves. I’m sorry. Many of those articles were ridiculous with their claims she has brought back black pride. I found the articles that critique her more balanced and fair. And I don’t see the “critics” being mean to folks. I saw an acclaimed black feminist writer basically tell someone to shut up because they brought up the capitalism beyonce so proudly espouses. You are supposed to be this cultural critic PHD touting activist and that’s your best response? I’m sorry “pro” beyonce folks are way more obnoxious to me. lol.

      1. Excellent piece and great comment. I was in Formation fatigue from all of the thought pieces being written/shared. I think we were putting SO much onto that moment/performance. Everything we were desperately looking for: conspiracies, validation, etc from ALL perspectives was heaped onto Beyonce in a way that I just don’t think was deserved for a pop artist. That dynamic was both fascinating and frightening.

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