Beyonce Is The New Black: The 10 Blackest Moments In Beyonce's "Formation" Video

Parkwood Entertainment
Parkwood Entertainment

In 2014, Surrey NanoSystems, a tech company in England, debuted VantaBlack — a substance they claim is the Blackest Black ever seen.


"The coating reflects so little light, three dimensions seem to disappear." said Ben Jensen, founder of Surrey NanoSystems, in an interview with the New York Times. "When you look at Vantablack on some wrinkled aluminum foil, it looks like a black, flat, featureless void, even with your eyes right up to it."

Perhaps VantaBlack is the Blackest substance ever created in a lab. But it cannot be the Blackest Black ever seen. Because, for it to truly be the Blackest Black, it would be thick, not flat. Thicker than hour-old Cream of Wheat, perhaps. And featurefull, not featureless. It would contain references to post-coital Cheddar Bay Biscuits. And Jackson family nostril width. It would include Big Freedia. And babies with baby haired Afros. And Black preachers rocking Ghostfaced-sized silver crosses over pinstriped suits. And random body rolling. And glorious titties in hallways and empty swimming pools. There would be allusions to #BlackLivesMatter. And mentions of Creole ancestries, even though we haven't quite collectively decided if a "Creole ancestry" is a real thing. And Frank's Hot Sauce floating in the bottom of thousand-dollar clutches. It would utterly flabbergast White people, and make Black people say things like "Yaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaas!!!!!"

It would be Beyonce's "Formation" video, the Blackest Black thing these Black eyes have seen in a long-ass, Black-ass time. I could seriously sit here and list the 100 Blackest Things from this video. But since my family is having a family dinner at Red Lobster later this evening, I can't spend that much time writing this, so 10 will have to do.

(Seriously. I'm totally not playing about Red Lobster. By the time you finish reading this, I will be on the way there. This was scheduled earlier today, and I'm actually considering cutting the list to four so I can get moving.)

1. Big Freedia doing Big Freedia things

Putting Big Freedia on a song is like casting Clifton Powell in a movie. It doesn't even matter what the actual title is. Because any movie featuring him in any way should just be called "Black People Doing Some Black-Ass Shit." Or, perhaps "Chitlins: Pt 2."


2. "Y'all haters corny with that Illuminati mess"

The very first words out of Beyonce's mouth were not-so-subtle shots at Hoteps. Perhaps she took the quiz.


3. "I like my baby hair with baby hair and afros"

This is Beyonce saying "But really, fuck you" to the people who've somehow formed their retched and preternaturally chapped lips to criticize the hair of Blue Ivy and, by proxy, any other Black baby with regular Black people hair and features.


4. "I like my negro nose with Jackson 5 nostrils"

There are approximately 270,000 different ways to unpack this line. But all I kept thinking about is Big Freedia, and how having a wider nasal path makes the smell of cornbread and slow cooked collard greens even more glorious.


5. "You mix that Negro with that Creole make a Texas bama"

Wait, aren't Creole people Black? And wouldn't that make them Negro too? And…you know what? Nevermind. That shit was hot. I'm over thinking things here. I just need to free my mind and allow Beyonce to slay.


6. "I got hot sauce in my bag. Swag"

Which is Blacker, carrying a bottle of Frank's Hot Sauce in a purse or pocket everywhere, or carrying a deck of cards in a purse or pocket everywhere so you'll always be prepared to play Spades? (I think the hot sauce is a smidgen Blacker, but I could be swayed the other way. It's close, man.)


7. "When he fuck me good I take his ass to Red Lobster"

This line is the single Blackest thing I've ever heard in 2016. Because Blackness is, above all, truth. And there has never been better sex than pre and post Red Lobster sex. Not shower sex. Not cruise sex. Not spaceship sex. Not "it's been six weeks since the baby was born" sex. Not even "thanks for the co-sign on the car loan" sex. Nothing. Cheddar Bay biscuits are Negro Catnip.


Also, related, she unwittingly just created a new way for dudes to nonverbally brag on our dicks. Because from this moment forward, if you see a couple at Red Lobster, the first thought will be "Damn. She's taking him to Red Lobster — and he's getting the Ultimate Feast! — so he must be making her squirt."

8. This guy

this guy

9. Beyonce doing Beyonce things. On an empty police car. Underwater. In New Orleans.

A reminder of the importance, relevance, and vitality of #BlackLivesMatter. Because we all remember the thing that happened there 11 years ago that reminded everyone Black lives don't.


10. The Black kid in the Black hoodie dancing in front of the line of White police officers with their hands up.

Is it a coincidence that this song and this video and this scene were released the same weekend Trayvon Martin would have been 21? I don't know. Probably. Who knows? I do know that the New York Times needs to run a retraction, because VantaBlack is now only the second Blackest Black ever seen.

Damon Young is the editor-in-chief of VSB, a contributing opinion writer for The New York Times, and the author of What Doesn't Kill You Makes You Blacker (Ecco/HarperCollins)



I know it's Monday and you gotta act like you're working but does anyone want to put on a hotep hat for a second and talk about what really happened at the Super Bowl with cam newton yesterday?