A love letter to Beyoncé:
I will continue (and end for the day) my opinionated rant.
I celebrate Adele for speaking out and praising 'Lemonade.' So many times, as a writer of colour, I have been plagued with the fear that no one will get my ideas, or be interested in my narrative. And when I say 'no one,' 'anyone,' or 'people' I know that I mean the white majority. When I entered and WON the Bloomsbury Short Story slam, I was truly taken a back. I did not think my short story, imbued with Spanish and Spanglish, so inherently Chicano-American, would be appreciated. But, that silly fear is what holds back artistry, especially the artistry of non-white creators. We must constantly deliver innovative, thought-provoking, culturally challenging music, poetry, art, academic research, film, creative writing. We may not always get the praise we deserve, our references may only be truly relevant to our community, but we must not cease demonstrating that we have artistic merit and that we can add rich cultural conversations to society. There is no reason to say that our work is not worth being read, and should be read, watched, studied and heard. If we, when growing up in the US, are always forced to read the white narrative, then we must fight to have ours shared too. It should be required no less!
Her not winning 'Album of the Year' for the 3rd time is another slight and affront to people of colour and another example of a black woman's exceptional piece of work, just not being 'good enough.' In this day and age, in a Trump presidency, we need more people who are brown and black to bring a conversation to the table and make people talk.
Beyoncé, I have always loved you because you are so intelligent in all you do, your references to art, poetry, cultures that span multiple eras and areas, reveal your true intelligence and wealth of knowledge. Thank you for showing a brown boy like me, from an immigrant family, that I can challenge perceptions of what someone who looks like me can do. I can celebrate all facets of me, but I can know about modern artists, I can read books with voices like mine and voices that differ, I can have opinions, and challenge stereotypes. I can be so much more than society wants me to be. YOU ARE MY QUEEN! AND YOU GOT ME WOKE!
(c) Andrés Nikolas Ordorica 2017