Title

Formation

Lead Author Major

English

Format

Oral Presentation

Faculty Mentor Name

Cynthia Dobbs

Faculty Mentor Department

English

Abstract/Artist Statement

Within popular culture there has been a growing segment of “musical activism,” in which popular artists have used their status, position, and music to address issues within their immediate society. In doing so, they communicate these problems to society at large and begin a discussion that can lead to acknowledgment and possible change, while simultaneously causing controversy in ways that some would find unimaginable. This project aims to establish an in-depth analysis that focuses on the growing usage of music as a platform for artists to work as activists. In particular, African-Americans have been using media to respond to the large amount of violence towards African-American males by police officers through movements such as Black Lives Matter and Black Excellence (a movement aimed at highlighting the success of African Americans to counter-act the negative stereotype often portrayed). In order to better focus this concept and understand how music and media have combined to create a far-reaching platform for political issues, I will hone in on the impact of Beyonce’s latest single “Formation.” The song through the messages broadcasted in its lyrics and music video created an impact in New Orleans where that music video was shot, the segment of the American population that mostly identify with it, and a widely-publicized controversy that led to backlash from popular media outlets and police protesting her concerts. In total, this project will also look at the overarching question of what is the proper role of art in society. Should it be meant for strictly entertainment or should it be used to make a difference? If so, is there a limited space for whom should be able to create such art and a limited amount of topics that art can be created around?

Location

DeRosa University Center, Room 211

Start Date

30-4-2016 1:00 PM

End Date

30-4-2016 3:00 PM

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Apr 30th, 1:00 PM Apr 30th, 3:00 PM

Formation

DeRosa University Center, Room 211

Within popular culture there has been a growing segment of “musical activism,” in which popular artists have used their status, position, and music to address issues within their immediate society. In doing so, they communicate these problems to society at large and begin a discussion that can lead to acknowledgment and possible change, while simultaneously causing controversy in ways that some would find unimaginable. This project aims to establish an in-depth analysis that focuses on the growing usage of music as a platform for artists to work as activists. In particular, African-Americans have been using media to respond to the large amount of violence towards African-American males by police officers through movements such as Black Lives Matter and Black Excellence (a movement aimed at highlighting the success of African Americans to counter-act the negative stereotype often portrayed). In order to better focus this concept and understand how music and media have combined to create a far-reaching platform for political issues, I will hone in on the impact of Beyonce’s latest single “Formation.” The song through the messages broadcasted in its lyrics and music video created an impact in New Orleans where that music video was shot, the segment of the American population that mostly identify with it, and a widely-publicized controversy that led to backlash from popular media outlets and police protesting her concerts. In total, this project will also look at the overarching question of what is the proper role of art in society. Should it be meant for strictly entertainment or should it be used to make a difference? If so, is there a limited space for whom should be able to create such art and a limited amount of topics that art can be created around?