The Racial Commentary Runs Deep
The "Black Lives Matter" movement gets prime placement in the music video. Perhaps one of the most visually arresting sequences depicts a little boy in a black hoodie, raising his arms, and a line of riot police doing the same. A cut shows the scrawled, graffiti words, "Stop shooting us." It's clear Bey's pleading for peace on both sides. But when you really look, practically every aspect of the video contains allusions to race: the lyrics, obviously, her decision to put her hair in long, glorious braids, and of course, all the additional shots, featuring black dancers and extras, clear references to Southern black culture, and more. Even her Super Bowl Halftime Show was charged with racial allegory. It's art.