Beyoncé shines in Black Is King, which is her third visual album release to date. Paying homage to Pan African identity, her overwhelming sense of Black pride captivates audiences through stunning images, choreography, symbolism, and song. The former Destiny’s Child singer has evolved into an unapologetically proud Black woman, wife, mother, mogul, and cultural icon right before our eyes, and it’s a beautiful thing to see. Whether you are a bonafide member of the beyhive or not, there’s no denying that everything she touches is a carefully crafted piece of perfection. As she says in her song “Mood 4 Eva,” “Why would you try me? Why would you bother? I am Beyoncé Giselle Knowles-Carter.”
According to Beyoncé, “Black Is King” is the reimagining of Disney’s “The Lion King.” Partnering with a host of creatives from both a musical and visual perspective, the fusion of African culture displayed is an experience like no other. The film was produced cross continentally over the course of a year and released exclusively on the Disney Plus streaming service. Despite early criticism of cultural appropriation and misrepresentation, “Black Is King” proves to be a love letter bridging the gap between our native land and those across the diaspora.
Throughout the 85 minute film, viewers will enjoy stunning artistic images, some including the singers family and stars referenced in hit song, “Brown Skin Girl.” The use of sculptures, Pan-African art, and haute couture fashion are consistent throughout. Most importantly, the imagery of Black men being highlighted is an astounding takeaway considering Beyoncé dedicated this body of work to her husband, Jay-Z, and son Sir. Her dedication states, “Dedicated to my son, Sir Carter – and to all our sons and daughters, the sun and moon bow for you, you are the keys to the kingdom.”
Overall, the messaging of Black legacy is clear throughout “Black Is King.” Inspiring us all to acknowledge our ancestry and challenges the world to perceive the word Black as “inspiration, love, strength, and beauty.” In a clip, Beyoncé says her hope for the film is that audiences see “Black Is King” as regal, rich in history, in purpose, and in lineage.”