*Beyonce became the hot topic of discussion at The New School in NYC earlier this week. bell hooks (née Gloria Watkins), author / activist Janet Mock, filmmaker Shola Lynch and author Marci Blackman came together over the topic, “Are You Still a Slave?”
“Let’s take the image of this super rich, very powerful Black female and let’s use it in the service of imperialist, white supremacist capitalist patriarchy because she probably had very little control over that cover — that image,” said hooks.
But author Janet Mock, who wrote the New York Times bestseller “Redefining Realness,” disagreed with this theory saying that at this point in her career, she believed Beyoncé had control over the image.
“I would argue she chose this image, so I don’t want to strip Beyoncé of choosing this image — of being her own manager,” Mock argued.
“Then you are saying, from my deconstructive point of view, that she is colluding in the construction of herself as a slave,” countered hooks.
Mock said that she felt inspired by much of Beyoncé’s work, and said having the song “Partition” come out “a couple months before my book came out — when I am writing about sex work and sexual abuse and issues with my body, my sexuality — it was freeing to have Beyoncé owning her body and claiming that space.”
Still, hooks held her ground, responding, “I see a part of Beyoncé that is in fact anti-feminist — that is a terrorist, especially in terms of the impact on young girls.”
The spirited two-hour conversation covered everything from Leslie Jones‘ controversial jokes on SNL to Zora Neale Hurston to Audre Lorde.
You can watch the debate/conversation below: