*When it was announced that Beyonce was given an award by the New York Association of Black Journalists, we could hear the collective jaws of journalists dropping all over the country, followed by a “WHAAAT?!”
For that matter, a lot of non-journalists’ jaws dropped too, so it comes as no surprise that journalist, Dr. Boyce Watkins, has some thoughts on the subject that that we thought should be shared with you.
I am not one to presume that the New York Association of Black Journalists were off-base by giving a writing award to Beyonce Knowles. While I am sure there are other professional writers who thought they might be considered for the award, we can’t presume that the woman who has sold millions of albums, toured the world non-stop for the last decade, been featured in multiple films and made thousands of appearances doesn’t have the ability to be an award-winning journalist in her spare time.
Here are some questions I’d like to ask the NYBJ about their decision to position Beyonce for the next Pulitzer Prize:
1) Did you see Beyonce’s open letter to Michelle Obama? Do you really think that the same person wrote both of these articles? The first sentence of Beyonce’s letter says, “Michelle is the ULTIMATE example of a truly strong African American women.” Is she writing TO Michelle or writing ABOUT Michelle? I really can’t tell in the first sentence.
2) Would Beyonce have gotten this award had she been a regular citizen and not a celebrity? Only you know the answer to that question. What about a regular citizen who didn’t even go to college? Sorry, I’ll stop, since the college reference might make me sound like a snob. But I can’t help but think that taking more writing classes might make you into a better writer, the same way that I’m sure that rehearsing every single day for years made Beyonce into a better performer. I doubt that a journalist could do what Beyonce does by shaking their booty just once a month.
3) You’re really convinced that a person who wrote one article, for one magazine, one time is better than every black professional writer in the country who does this every single day for a living? Perhaps those bums need to step their games up.
Read more of Dr Boyce’s article at Your Black World.