Beyonce Gets in FORMATION and Tells the World She #StayWoke

Unless you were living under rock or you passed out upon hearing about this surprise drop, you have encountered (and I do mean encountered because it was an event) Beyonce's new song and video, "Formation," which dropped Saturday, February 6th, a day ahead of her scheduled Super Bowl 50 performance.  

I have to first say that I hate Beyonce for doing these kind of surprise music/video drops. It is killer to my nerves. Makes me feel like I always gotta be ready for an immediate purchase (and the way my bank account works, Navient, Perkins Loan, and ACS gotta get their coins first before I can do anything).  

With that said, I loved this video. It was SO BLACK! Unapologetically black! And, you know I am all for it. The images were so powerful: 

  • A young black boy dancing in front of a line of police officers in riot gear, next to a wall with the words "stop shooting us" graffitied on it.

  • Beyonce on top of a sinking New Orleans police car in the middle of flood waters.

  • Beyonce decked in all black and flanked by black men in all black, looking like a junk joint jazz band.

I could honestly watch this video over and over again (on mute). Yes, I said mute. The song...well...I am not sold on it. On first listen, it did nothing for me. I like some of the lyrics such as "I like my baby hair with baby hair and afros" and "I like my negro nose with Jackson Five nostrils."It does not get any more pro-black than that, especially for the straight, blonde haired, chick-o-stick pop star former manager Matthew Knowles groomed (his daughter/cash cow) Beyonce to be. But the rest of the lyrics just sounded like a bunch of lines strung together. The New Orleans "bounce" beat really adds a thick layer of triple chocolate cake-type blackness to song. Makes it sound gritty. The song almost sounds like it is growling at you, "stop and listen to me." I just wish the all of the lyrics were as strong as the beat and the video. But, unfortunately it is not. 

"Formation" is definitely the most "woke" song and visuals Beyonce has ever produced; and I am so happy that she decided to step up and out. 

Keeping it coming, Bey! #StayWoke #VeryBlack #UnapologeticallyBlack

White Terrorist Bingo: Planned Parenthood Edition

Head over to your local news outlet and see how many of the key words they pull out during a mass shooting report. Get five in a row and you win

a bulletproof blanket

(adult and kid sizes available). Join the fun, folks. Because demonizing black and brown shooting victims and humanizing white domestic terrorists are all part of what makes America "Great."

(On a serious note: If you haven't already, check out the web series Decoded on youtube. MTV Decoded is a weekly series on MTV News where the fearless Franchesca Ramsey tackles race, pop culture, and other uncomfortable things, in funny and thought-provoking ways. Half sketch comedy, half vlog. New episodes every Wednesday.)

5 Shows Starring People of Color (That Are Not Scandal, HTGAWM, and Empire) You Should Be Watching

There has been a lot of talk about the abundance of people of color on network tv today (and white responses to the rise of black and brown and tan faces on their televisions), but there has not been much talk about the shows, outside of Scandal, Empire and How To Get Away With Murder, starring people of color or why you should be watching them. So I decided to make a list for you tv watchers because my gums are getting very tired from the spreading the news about these great shows via the words from my mouth. Grab your remote, set your dvr, and check out these shows.

1) black-ish (airs Wednesdays 9:30pm EST/8:30pm CT on ABC)

Andre 'Dre' Johnson (Anthony Anderson) has a great job, a beautiful wife, Rainbow (Tracee Ellis Ross), four kids and a colonial home in the 'burbs.  But has success brought too much assimilation for this black family? With a little help from his dad (Laurence Fishburne), Dre sets out to establish a sense of cultural identity for his family that honors their past while embracing the future. 


stars Anthony Anderson as Dre, Tracee Ellis Ross as Rainbow, Yara Shahidi as Zoey, Marcus Scribner as Andre Jr., Miles Brown as Jack, Marsai Martin as Diane and Laurence Fishburne as Pops.

Good for:

those who are looking for a modern day The Cosby Show-esque comedy that focuses on the lives of black families trying to thrive, fit in, and maintain their cultural identities in suburbia. 

2) Survivor's Remorse (airs Saturdays 9:30pm EST/8:30pm CT on Starz)

"Survivor's Remorse" follows the life of Cam Calloway (played by Jessie T. Usher) a hard-working young basketball star who is thrust into the limelight after signing a huge contract with a pro team in Atlanta. In the second season, we see Cam and his cousin and confidant Reggie Vaughn, played by Ronreaco Lee, continue trying to navigate Cam’s meteoric rise. From business deals to relationships and friendship, the two confront the challenges of balancing the needs of family with the rewards and responsibilities generated by their newfound wealth and fame. Cam, Reggie and

the unforgettable group of characters that is the Calloway clan wrestle with the rewards and pitfalls of stardom, love and loyalty. The series is executive produced by Mike O’Malley, LeBron James, Tom Werner, Maverick Carter and Paul Wachter and the cast also includes Mike Epps, Tichina Arnold, Teyonah Parris and Erica Ash.

Good for:

those who are looking for an adult (i.e., raunchy and straight funny no chaser) sports-themed comedy. Mike Epps, Tichina Arnold, and Erica Ash are hilarious.

3) Sleepy Hollow (airs Thursdays 9pm EST/8pm CT on FOX)

  1. Ichabod Crane awakes from the throes of death 250 years in the future where he must solve a mystery dating back to the founding fathers. Due to a blood spell cast on a battlefield during the Revolution, the infamous headless horseman is revived along with Crane, and the murderous rider embarks on a bloody rampage in present-day Sleepy Hollow. Ichabod realizes that he must act quickly, for the headless horseman is only the first of the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse. Detective Abbie Mills, a woman familiar with supernatural experiences, forms a bond with Crane as they try to stop an increasingly vicious cycle of evil.

Good for:

those who are looking for sci-fi/fantasy dramas that have touches of literary and historical references. In other words, good for those into nerdy things.

4) Being Mary Jane (airs Tuesdays 9pm EST/8pm CT on BET)

Mary Jane Paul is a one-woman show: a successful TV news anchor, entirely self-sufficient--an all-around powerhouse who remains devoted to a family that doesn't share her motivation. As Mary Jane juggles her life, her work and her commitment to her family, we find out how far she’s willing to go to find the puzzle pieces that she, and society, insist are missing from her life as a single Black female.

Good for:

those who are looking for an hour-long drama that focuses on the triumphs, trials, and beautifully flawed realities of being a single Black professional woman in America.

5) Jane The Virgin (airs Mondays 9pm EST/8pm CT on The CW)

When Jane Villanueva was a young girl, her grandmother, Alba, convinced her of two things: telenovelas are the highest form of entertainment, and

 women must protect their virginity at all costs. Now age 23, Jane is a driven young woman studying to become a teacher, nursing a dream to be a writer, and supporting herself with a job at a hot new Miami hotel. All the years of watching telenovelas with the two women who raised her – her sexy, young-at-heart mother, Xiomara, and her still-devout grandmother Alba – have given Jane a slightly unrealistic view of romance. Still, she is determined not to make the same mistake her mother made – becoming an unwed mother at 16. Jane has managed to find a wonderful fiancé: a handsome, hard-working detective named Michael, who loves her enough to accept her detailed timeline for their future together and even her insistence on “saving herself” until they’re married. All of Jane’s meticulous life plans are turned upside down, however, when she sees her doctor for a routine check-up and is accidentally artificially inseminated with a specimen meant for the patient in the next room. Unbeknownst to her, the specimen belongs to Rafael, a reformed playboy and cancer survivor, who is not only the new owner of the hotel where Jane works but also a former summer crush of hers. A few weeks later, the unsuspecting Jane is faced with the most important decisions of her life. Will she continue with the pregnancy? How can she explain the situation to her fiancé and family? And what should she do about the wishes of the biological father, Rafael, and his scheming wife Petra? Though she has always tried to be the good girl who does the right thing, Jane’s life has suddenly become as dramatic and complicated as the telenovelas she has always loved.

Good for:

those who are looking for a telenovela-esque comedy that features a young woman dealing with love, family, career, and an unexpected pregnancy.

Is Bigger Better?

Is bigger better? Before you start getting up in arms, I am not talking about the male sex organ. I can answer that question for myself. What am talking about is the booty, particularly the size of the female booty. I have been sitting on this question (literally and figuratively) for awhile now, ever since booty injections and implants and Brazilian butt lifts have become the new boob job. The days of people being obsessed with the Dolly Partons, Pam Griers, and Pamela Andersons of the world are over. Well it is not really over. People still love big boobs. But there is a female body part that has become the object of people's sexual gaze.

Today, people, both men and women, rich and poor, people of color and whites, are overly obsessed with big booties (myself included). It seems that you need to have a



 elephant booty to be considered sexy, desirable, or dateable by mainstream society. There are young women who have Instagram pages with post after post of back shots showing off their booties. Look at Kim Kardashian. She would not be a media spectacle without her large (fat injected, possibly Brazilian butt lifted) booty, which Kanye loves squeezing, showcasing, and talking about to any and every one. It is not her infamous sex tape with Ray-J or the reality show(s) with her family (that E! refuses to take off the air for a second). It is her shape, specifically her small waist and gigantic booty.  She has made a name and social media empire from pictures of her booty (clothed, oiled up, sandy, and bare). On her family show, she spent an episode creating booty selfies for her husband Kanye West (which she eventually put together and published as part of a 1000-page book of selfies of herself called "Selfish").

Sadly, big and round booties have been seen for a lifetime on many women of African descent (from the "Venus Hottentot" Sarah Baartman to Jennifer Lopez to Serena Williams), but has not brought them the same amount of adoration, fame, and wealth solely from this body part. You may argue that J.Lo got a lot attention for her booty. And yes she did. Who doesn't remember hearing rumors that she ensure her famous booty for a million dollars? But, unlike Kim K, it was not J. Lo's booty that put her on the map. She danced and acted her way into the public eye and then people noticed her shape, particularly her big booty. In the curious case of Sarah Baartman, who was put on display in Europe because of her voluptuous shape, she gained much fame but did not gain any wealth or adoration from (white) people's obsession with her booty.

As a woman with a not so big booty, I will admit that the age of the big booty has impacted my self-image. Every time I walk by a mirror I push out my butt a little and check how it looks in my jeans/skirts/dresses, and then wish that it would grow 2 sizes (along with my boobs because I refuse to not be proportionate) so I can

pop off an Instagram modeling career

 be desired by men, envied by women, and rapped about by rappers (don't act like you wouldn't geek out if you were immortalized in song---see






 for examples of good love for the "big booty"songs).

This brings me back to my original question. When it comes to the female booty, is bigger better? Is there such a thing as a "too big" booty? Does it matter if it is real or fake? Does it matter to whom a big booty is attached? Why does a big booty seemingly get more"positive" reactions when a white women has one than when a women of African descent has one? What impact has society's obsession with disproportionately large booties had on the self-image of women, especially young girls, in America?

Speak on it!