All the great matriarchs have spent their reign doing three things: stunting, strutting, and fronting. Anyone who has ever seen her performance knows she can stunt: from her record-breaking Black Panther Party Superbowl 50 tribute to her famous Babyboy aerial walk stunts are second nature to Mrs. Carter-Knowles. Whether in House of Dereon or Givenchy this woman can certainly strut. And now, as she gets closer to the arrival of her potential princes, she is fronting the newly created Formation Scholars.
Our modern day Nefertiti is using the anniversary of her phenomenal historically phenomenal visual album Lemonade to support a substantial increase in the scholarly work produced by Black women. Although the scholarship does not specifically target Black women, Spelman College and Howard University are historically Black institutions. Each school will select one Formation Scholar based on a rigorous application process. Beyonce will give four scholarships to incoming/current undergraduates or graduate students. To be eligible, applicants must be African-American studies or creative arts majors. Essentially, the Formation Scholars program could support the next Warsan Shire.
As scholar Omise'eke Natasha Tinsley wrote, “her imagination of black women tapping into supernatural powers to right wrongs also continues Africana feminist legacies of protest against social injustice”. With her Formation Scholars program, Beyonce is translating her critically acclaimed speculative work into praxis. I am optimistic that her efforts will help the next Frantz Fanon, Michelle Alexander graduate with honors. Beyonce’s move to support young women who are “unafraid to think outside the box and are bold, creative, conscious and confident” is a brilliant example of her dedication to uplifting women of color.
Students enrolled at Howard University, Spelman College, Berklee College of Music, or Parsons School of Design can apply directly through their institutions be contacting the financial aid or academic advising offices. This #BeyGood initiative is likely to spark a trend with other celebrities to invest in the academic success of Black women.
All hail the queen.
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