Beyonce: An Important Figure Of Pop Culture

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Beyonce is known as a member of “Destiny’s Child” as well as her solo music career and acting career. Adrienne Rich is an author, and worked in the poetry, non-fiction, and essayist genres. Despite their different occupations, both Beyonce and Adrienne Rich are known to stand up against oppression through their works and their lives. Beyonce often talks about the oppression of women and blacks in her work while Adrienne Rich often talks about the oppression of women. We see both topics addressed in many of her songs like Freedom.

In the United States, we have had a history since the very beginning of injustice and inequality despite it being a country where “all men are created equal.” We see that a lot of groups were not equal despite what the declaration has stated. We see even in this statement above that only men are created to have equality. Thomas Jefferson did not write people or persons in this statement. He just wrote men. Despite it not saying anything about race, the Declaration of Independence and Constitution set up to help white males. Since the beginning of American history, both women and blacks have been oppressed in various ways.

Blacks had to go through slavery, Black Codes, Jim Crow Laws, racism, redlining, Police Brultaty, oppression, and everything in between. To this day, they still have to deal with the effects of these events. Blacks still have to face racism and oppression. It has just taken a different form in today’s society. The Civil War, which went from 1861 to 1865, went on to ambolish slavery, but Black Codes and later Jim Crow came out of that mid-1860s and 1870s soon after the war was finished. Both ended during the Civil Rights Era which happened in the 1950s and 1960s, a century later since the built up to the Civil War, and the War itself. The Civil War fought to abolish slavery, and to get basic rights while the Civil Rights fought for equal rights that are stated in the 13th, 14th, and 15th amendments. Now, we are seeing movements like Black Lives Matter that are fighting against the oppression that Blacks are facing in today’s society. Through the Civil War Era, Jim Crow Era, Civil Rights Era, and Black Lives Era; it seems like we are taking five steps forward and three steps back. We see that people like Beyonce fighting against oppression not only in her own life, but through her music as well.

In the song Freedom, it is based on not only the struggles what black women in particular have to go through, but the strengths they go through in American society. When Kenderick Lamar has his part in the song, he talks about life that black men have to face in America. The title ‘Freedom’ gives away the main meaning of this song as Beyonce calls for freedom from the chains that they have that American society has given them throughout history. Freedom should be given to everyone, and that she wants freedom too. Beyonce uses a lot of imagery and references to make her point come across throughout this song as well.

In the first stanza of the song, Beyonce states in the song; “Tell the storm I’m new / I’m a wall, come and march on the regular / Painting white flags blue.” (Beyonce, 2016). Beyonce states that even though she is new, she is here to put a stop to the storm that is brewing whatever the storm is at the time. The storm being oppression of not only women but blacks as well. That Beyonce is going to do what she can. We see that she is a woman in a powerful position. Beyonce has a lot of influence in our society through her career, life, and social media. Even in this song, Beyonce talks about how she is marching regularly like the people before her as we see in marches like Selma. Lastly, Beyonce talks about how the time for the white flag is done. That they can’t surrender anymore. It’s time to stand up, and stop the storm. It’s time to fight for what they believe in. It’s time to fight for the rights that they have under the law. It’s time to fight against the oppression and stereotypes that people have placed on them throughout history. We can see that Beyonce is coming in as a leader, and shaking things up while she is doing this.

Beyonce then states later on; “I’m telling these tears, go and fall away, fall away / May the last one burn into flames.” (Beyonce, 2016). During this time period, there are a lot of tears falling down one's face because of everything that is happening whether it is tears of anger and/or sadness. Beycone then later talks about how she is going to break from the chains herself, and she is taking her freedom back instead of letting it “rot in hell.” This references the second part of the quote. That these tears are going to turn into flames. That there is change coming, and it is happening right now. That they are going to use what they are going through, and change the society that caused this pain, struggle, and tears.

Beyonce is known as a member of “Destiny’s Child” as well as her solo music career and acting career. Adrienne Rich is an author, and worked in the poetry, non-fiction, and essayist genres. Despite their different occupations, both Beyonce and Adrienne Rich are known to stand up against oppression through their works and their lives. Beyonce often talks about the oppression of women and blacks in her work while Adrienne Rich often talks about the oppression of women. We see both topics addressed in many of her songs like Freedom.

In the United States, we have had a history since the very beginning of injustice and inequality despite it being a country where “all men are created equal.” We see that a lot of groups were not equal despite what the declaration has stated. We see even in this statement above that only men are created to have equality. Thomas Jefferson did not write people or persons in this statement. He just wrote men. Despite it not saying anything about race, the Declaration of Independence and Constitution set up to help white males. Since the beginning of American history, both women and blacks have been oppressed in various ways.

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Blacks had to go through slavery, Black Codes, Jim Crow Laws, racism, redlining, Police Brultaty, oppression, and everything in between. To this day, they still have to deal with the effects of these events. Blacks still have to face racism and oppression. It has just taken a different form in today’s society. The Civil War, which went from 1861 to 1865, went on to ambolish slavery, but Black Codes and later Jim Crow came out of that mid-1860s and 1870s soon after the war was finished. Both ended during the Civil Rights Era which happened in the 1950s and 1960s, a century later since the built up to the Civil War, and the War itself. The Civil War fought to abolish slavery, and to get basic rights while the Civil Rights fought for equal rights that are stated in the 13th, 14th, and 15th amendments. Now, we are seeing movements like Black Lives Matter that are fighting against the oppression that Blacks are facing in today’s society. Through the Civil War Era, Jim Crow Era, Civil Rights Era, and Black Lives Era; it seems like we are taking five steps forward and three steps back. We see that people like Beyonce fighting against oppression not only in her own life, but through her music as well.

In the song Freedom, it is based on not only the struggles what black women in particular have to go through, but the strengths they go through in American society. When Kenderick Lamar has his part in the song, he talks about life that black men have to face in America. The title ‘Freedom’ gives away the main meaning of this song as Beyonce calls for freedom from the chains that they have that American society has given them throughout history. Freedom should be given to everyone, and that she wants freedom too. Beyonce uses a lot of imagery and references to make her point come across throughout this song as well.

In the first stanza of the song, Beyonce states in the song; “Tell the storm I’m new / I’m a wall, come and march on the regular / Painting white flags blue.” (Beyonce, 2016). Beyonce states that even though she is new, she is here to put a stop to the storm that is brewing whatever the storm is at the time. The storm being oppression of not only women but blacks as well. That Beyonce is going to do what she can. We see that she is a woman in a powerful position. Beyonce has a lot of influence in our society through her career, life, and social media. Even in this song, Beyonce talks about how she is marching regularly like the people before her as we see in marches like Selma. Lastly, Beyonce talks about how the time for the white flag is done. That they can’t surrender anymore. It’s time to stand up, and stop the storm. It’s time to fight for what they believe in. It’s time to fight for the rights that they have under the law. It’s time to fight against the oppression and stereotypes that people have placed on them throughout history. We can see that Beyonce is coming in as a leader, and shaking things up while she is doing this.

Beyonce then states later on; “I’m telling these tears, go and fall away, fall away / May the last one burn into flames.” (Beyonce, 2016). During this time period, there are a lot of tears falling down one's face because of everything that is happening whether it is tears of anger and/or sadness. Beycone then later talks about how she is going to break from the chains herself, and she is taking her freedom back instead of letting it “rot in hell.” This references the second part of the quote. That these tears are going to turn into flames. That there is change coming, and it is happening right now. That they are going to use what they are going through, and change the society that caused this pain, struggle, and tears.

Unlike her early work Storm Warnings which is about experiences, Orion are experiences. Orion, in Greek Mythology, was a hunter who went on a trip with the goddess Artemis and her mother Leto. He was a bit too excited, and stated that he would kill every single animal in the world. Gaea, who is the mother earth, did not like this. So much so, that she killed Orion by a scorpion. To remember him, Artemis and Leto went to the god Zeus, and asked him to put Orion in the sky. Zeus agreed to this, and turned Orion into a constellation. Orion has a big influence in Rich’s poem, Orion as it references the hunter a couple of times throughout it. While Beyonce talks about what it is like to be a black woman in American society in her song Freedom, and the oppression that she has had to overcome not only by being black (racism), but also being a woman (sexism), Rich focuses more on the experiences that a woman has to go through when it comes to the patriarchal system, male dominance, and the life of a woman and mother.

In Orion, we see in the beginning, the author is praising Orion in the sky, and doesn’t have much a negative outlook towards men as she is young. Rich calls Orion a “lion-heart king in prison.” (Rich, 1945). Orion is like a lion which symbolizes strength, power, courage, pride, authority, and wealth. Despite this, Orion is still in prison (constellation). This can symbolize men as they have power, pride, and authority in American society, but this can also symbolize women where we also have these traits, but we are in the prison that our society has placed us in due to the patriarchal system. Just like Beyonce was talking about, women also want freedom, and to be broken free from the chains that our society has created throughout history. By the middle of the play, the tone has changed.

Rich states in the third stanza; “... But you burn, and I know it; / as I throw back my head to take you in / and old transfusion happens again: / divine astronomy is nothing to it.” followed by the fourth stanza; “Indoors I bruise and blunder / break faith, leave ill enough / alone …. /” and lastly, in the fifth stanza; “A man reaches behind my eyes / and finds them empty /”. (Rich, 1945). We see throughout these three stanzas in the poem of how she went from looking up to Orion, and admiring him for being a genius and a Viking, to now needing a transfusion from him. The writer is now older by this part of the poem than she was in the beginning.

Life has dealt her cards, and she has had to go through them all. The writer has had to deal with her children dying, and life as a woman in our society. How a man looks at her, and sees the emptiness in her eyes due to the fact that life has taken all that she has. Rich later talks about how men take their lives for granted. They don’t have to go through the same things that women have to. Instead of helping, men are on the sidelines watching as women play the game of life. By the end, Rich is finally done with letting life and society run over her. By the end, Rich and women are finally pushing against the oppression that women have to go through. We see this happening in real life as well. Throughout American society, women have dealt with oppression, but fought back, and overcame every single hill that has been formed. We still have oppression to this day. We see that there is still sexism as things like the wage gap.

We see that with Beyonce and her song Freedom, she talks about what it is like as a black woman in America, Adrienne Rich talks about the oppression of women in more detail. Each woman talked about the experiences that they have had to go through. Despite talking about different experiences, they both talk about the oppression as women while Beyonce adds the oppression of blacks in America. They both use life experiences to be relatable. Rich with men and miscarriages while Beyonce with how she has been running. Both talk about how they are done letting society dictate what they should and shouldn’t do or say. They both are fighting against oppression, and instead, fighting for freedom.

Beyonce is known as a member of “Destiny’s Child” as well as her solo music career and acting career. Adrienne Rich is an author, and worked in the poetry, non-fiction, and essayist genres. Despite their different occupations, both Beyonce and Adrienne Rich are known to stand up against oppression through their works and their lives. Beyonce often talks about the oppression of women and blacks in her work while Adrienne Rich often talks about the oppression of women.   

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Beyonce: An Important Figure Of Pop Culture. (2021, October 26). WritingBros. Retrieved February 23, 2024, from https://writingbros.com/essay-examples/beyonce-an-important-figure-of-pop-culture/
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Beyonce: An Important Figure Of Pop Culture. [online]. Available at: <https://writingbros.com/essay-examples/beyonce-an-important-figure-of-pop-culture/> [Accessed 23 Feb. 2024].
Beyonce: An Important Figure Of Pop Culture [Internet]. WritingBros. 2021 Oct 26 [cited 2024 Feb 23]. Available from: https://writingbros.com/essay-examples/beyonce-an-important-figure-of-pop-culture/
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