SZA’s The Weekend Video: On Celebrating Black Girls Even if We’re Doing Safe and Basic, Which We Never Do. Because Black Girls
Reasons I’m here for SZA’s The Weekend video directed by Solange.
1) A Black girl is centered for 4 minutes and 9 seconds. Just her.
2) SZA teaching and preaching with the dancing. Y’all know how I feel about dancing as a means to positive body image and self-esteem. I recommend doing it naked. Often.
3) SZA dancing by, and for, herself. Even as we watch, it’s clear SZA isn’t dancing for the gaze(s). None of them. Not whiteness. Not men. Not even fans. We should take note.
4) I’m a lyrics person. I’m all about the words to a song. But that video made me forget there were words to the track. I just got lost watching SZA. It was beautiful. It was art.
5) A Black girl is centered for 4 minutes and 9 seconds. Just her.
The Vitamin Q said that the “Black girl magic trend allows Solange to put out ‘safe’ art and be over-congratulated for it.” Damn skippy. I’ll congratulate my sisters for a well executed eye roll. Because being/living/loving as a Black woman is hard as hell. So sis, you better come through with them brows! Work that blue sweater! I see you with them earrings! Baby hair like whoa! I’m here for congratulating my sisters for the most basic of things. Because basic when you expend all the energy just to get through the day is really just some superhuman level stuff that don’t get recognized by folks who have the privilege of not expending so much energy just being. And art goes so far beyond the basic so I’m all for congratulating “safe” art too. Because ain’t nothing safe about centering Black girls in this world.
Maybe it ain’t art to some folks. But in a world where Black women can’t be celebrated and centered without folks running to include others, I’m here for getting 4 minutes and 9 seconds of #BlackGirlMagic.