During the halftime show at Super Bowl 50 on Sunday, Beyoncé took the stage with her Black Panther dancers and performed in front of a huge football audience at the Levi’s Stadium in San Francisco.
The pop icon and diva danced and sang while wearing black leather leotards and a gold embellished jacket that was seen as a tribute to Michael Jackson. However, what caught the attention of the crowd as well as millions of people watching from their televisions, is the outfit donned by her backup dancers.
— New York Post (@nypost) February 9, 2016
Beyoncé’s dancers sported Afro hairstyles and wore black berets, which are reportedly in reference to the Black Panther Party on the 1960s. It is considered as the most “radical political statement” that she has done in her 20-year career as an entertainer.
During the performance, the diva and her dancers formed an X formation and gave a salute, which was interpreted by some people as another tribute to Malcolm X.
If there were still doubts that Beyoncé’s number was a way to promote the Black Lives Matter advocacy, her dancers posed for a snapshot while holding a piece of paper that said, “Justice 4 Mario Woods,” and raising their fists in the air.
— SFist (@SFist) February 8, 2016
In December, Woods was shot and killed by the police in California after he refused to drop an 8-inch knife he was carrying. Reports said that about a dozen officers surrounded Woods and shot him. The scene was caught on film.
Beyonce and her Dancers Honor Mario Woods
An attorney for Woods’ family has requested investigations from the federal government to see whether or not some police officers should be charged with civil rights violations.
Advocates of the Black Lives Matter movement were quick to praise the award-winning singer and performer.
One Twitter user said that the singer’s reference to black people’s rights is a subtle but loud gesture.
“I love that Beyonce used her platform for a political statement. It’s always needed, because it’s too often Black voices go unheard,” another tweet stated.
I love that Beyonce used her platform for a political statement. It’s always needed, because it’s too often Black voices go unheard.
— Anyesha V. (@nyshaV) February 8, 2016
The Black Panthers was a revolutionary black nationalist movement that pushed for the civil rights of African Americans to be recognized by the government.
The Black Panther Party was Formed Following the Death of Malcolm X
Unfortunately, the involvement of some of the group’s members in illegal activities led to then-FBI director J Edgar Hoover to refer to the movement as “the greatest threat to the internal security of the country.”
The Black Panthers were formed 50 years ago in Oakland, which is only about 50 miles away from the Levi’s Stadium in San Francisco.
However, former Mayor Rudy Giuliani criticized Beyonce‘s decision to pay tribute the Black Lives Matter movement.
“I think it was outrageous. The halftime show I thought was ridiculous anyway. I don’t know what the heck it was. A bunch of people bouncing around and all strange things. It was terrible,” said Giuliani in an interview on Monday.
— New York Daily News (@NYDailyNews) February 8, 2016
In addition, Giuliani said that the Super Bowl was a sporting event, and the move to push political agenda is not fit for the occasion. He said that Beyoncé used the halftime show as a platform to “attack police officers,” the same people who protect her and everyone else in the country.
Instead of promoting hatred towards the police among African-American communities, Giuliani said that people like Beyoncé should help in building respect for the officers who risk their lives to maintain peace and order.
Aside from Beyoncé’s tribute to the rights of African Americans, the Super Bowl 50 halftime show has also been buzzing for its alleged theme of promoting homosexuality.
— HuffPost Canada (@HuffPostCanada) February 9, 2016
The entire stadium was filled with different colors, and a large portion of the crowd held up paper cards that said, “Believe in Love.”
[Image by Ronald Martinez, Getty Images]