As a man, I genuinely think my opinion on Bey matters far less than a woman’s, so I don’t love throwing my opinions around about her work, especially the songs so clearly for women. With that said, she is black and from the South, and when this negro Beyoncé says “negro,” it’s almost as if she’s taking back negro — an attempt to give black people a word to rally around that will make us feel super black when it rolls off the tongue. To quote the great Paul Mooney, on black culture and white people, historically, “they take … everything.” One of those things, funny enough, is saying “nigga” — which is currently about as universally said as “Facebook.” Negro, though: This word is uncharted waters for your run-of-the-mill non-black Bey fan. When I heard her say it for the first time, all I thought was, Beyoncé just made that our word again. It’s such a black word; it makes other people uncomfortable, just like I assumed King Bey wanted. What a Black History Month miracle this is: Long live the eldest daughter of Celestine!


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