Beyoncé released her highly controversial single “Formation” at this year’s Superbowl and the world has been in awe ever since. Bey danced along with a bevy of women donning Black Panther inspired outfits that sparked a social media uproar of support and controversy. Soon after that, she announced she will be holding a tour in the song/performance’s honor.
While some sing and dance along to “Formation” others are using unique art forms to show their appreciation for the singer’s powerful message. Performance poet Ernestine Johnson is speaking her truth through spoken word. Johnson, who is also an actor, made waves on the internet when she released a recording of her performing a poem titled “The Average Black Girl” on the Arsenio Hall Show. She explained what it means to be a Black girl who does not fit into the media standards that unfairly deems young African American women in a negative light. After an overwhelmingly positive response on social media, the poet is back with another message. This time, she’s paying homage to Beyoncé’s latest release.
“Let’s link up with our sisters and help each other get our ideas started. Let’s put in the groundwork and build up our networks”, says Johnson. These are just some of the important points she makes in her poem. With all black attire that mirror’s Bey’s performance gear, Johnson recites line after line while two young girls exemplify her message. “Women, we are inventors, creators and debaters,” Johnson says. “Together we are unstoppable. The perfect definition of powerful.”
Ernestine Johnson is a self-proclaimed “truth-teller” in her poems. Like Beyoncé, she is using her platform to encourage and uplift African American women. With the need for women to unify their efforts for a better outcome for the future needed now more than ever, her message is right on time. Johnson has a YouTube page filled with her latest projects. Get into the “Formation” influenced poem below.