Beyonce’s Performance Ruffled Feathers: Social Influences or Solidarity References? – #HometownChat


Trivia: Which prospective Olympic athlete has publicly voiced concern about the Zika virus? (Answer below)

The Superbowl halftime show is being cheered and jeered. Those on one side say the game lived-up to expectations. On another side are those who think Beyoncé rocked the house. But there’s a disgruntled group whose feathers were ruffled. So was it due to the social influences or solidarity references?

Social media has been abuzz with a ‘Beyoncé Boycott’ debate since her performance. It’s taken on a life of its own as a national story. Meanwhile the Broncos parade and Von Miller’s MVP honor celebrate hometown glory. The broader message of the event might be getting lost in the boycott argument.

Take for example Dr. King’s ‘I Have a Dream’ speech. One audience might receive it as a call to urban change. This would be supported by efforts in economic evangelism, social activism and choosing hope over skepticism. Others might receive it as a call to national unity beyond the systemic implications.

So it depends on which ears people are listening with. These days it seems there’re those who listen primarily with their left ear and others with their right. This contrast might make sense when using our hands to express ourselves. Some of us wave or write left-handed primarily and others right-handed.


But in today’s national discourse it’s almost as if we need to learn how to connect and communicate in Americanese. This way we’re not hung-up on small stuff and thus miss the larger point. That might help to explain the backlash that Beyoncé is getting after her ‘formation’ performance during the show.

It’s interesting that she choose the weekend of the big game to release the song. Football is definitely a game of offensive and defensive formations. The Beyoncé backlash might show how a message can get skewered with ‘isms and skisms’ based on how people understand only their own American experience.

Yes, King’s speech and life’s work would have us focus our energies on urban empowerment. The ills of the nation shouldn’t only affect certain blocks. But he might also be pointing us towards a sense of shared humanity through service opportunities, social priorities and projecting hope over personal insecurities.

If the 21st century is going to take us to the next level of becoming a more perfect union then ‘The Block’ in hometowns left and right might be a good place to start. We’ve got to listen past the beat for the truth and look for the silver lining in order to keep building synergy across the United Streets of America (USA).

Answer: Hope Solo, U.S. Women’s Soccer Goal Keeper


Groove-tracks: John Legend – “Humanity” –


Rachel Platten  – “Stand by You” –