Before I embark on this much needed topic, I would like to point out that this article is not an attack on Beyonce, her amazing credentials, and/or her personality, but an article to highlight her wrongs when it came to her failed attempt at the appreciation of African culture *crosses hands in Beyhive honey*.
Beyonce justifyingly found herself once again at the center of Grammys. After having one of the breakout albums of the year, it was only right that her accomplishments were honored in an elegant and powerful way, but unfortunately she took it too far. Beyonce's attire and ceremonial scene was "meant" to imitate the Yoruba Goddess, Oshun. This Goddess, is a deity to many in Nigeria, the West African country that boast one of the largest number of different ethnic groups in the world. Oshun is a religious and spiritual entity in which many from Nigerians pray too. Within the realms of appreciation of culture, Beyonce trespassed on a religious front she did not have to embark on to make her point. Her imitation of the Goddess Oshun, can be on the same level as someone who walks into a church or mosque impersonating Jesus or Allah. It is only because the spiritual figure is from Africa, that the outrage of the occurrence has not blown up in a storm of negativity.
To put it point blank and simple, Beyonce's attempt at appreciation of African culture was not appreciation, instead it was glaringly disrespectful. Even though the spiritual figure Oshun is from a culture outside of the realms of the United States or western civilization, it is still an actual Goddess and spiritual figure in someone else's culture (my own original culture at that). At many African churches till this day we still sing songs that resonate with the God "Olodumare", who is the powerful God to the Goddess, Oshun. Beyonce at the Grammys wore Oshun as an ornament, which is entirely not what it is meant to be. A spiritual figure that people pray to should never be worn as an ornament or a simple get up. No one in Africa imitates Gods or Goddesses, and neither should it be taken as a joke by people outside of that culture's realm. Though there are festivals that depict the original stories of these Gods/Goddesses, the story is not altered and is used on the bases of strictly informing people of the original story. If Beyonce wanted to appreciate that section of Yoruba Nigerian culture she should have went many different ways about it, not literally compare herself and imitate an African Goddess.
This highlights a bigger issue, whereas people pick and choose what they want to take from Africa and delude it to the point where it is seen as an aesthetic. Africa is not an aesthetic, it's a not a piece of clothing, it's not a joke. Africa is a way of life, it's people's culture, it's where they wake up and sleep, and it should never be made a mockery. Africa is long overdue its credit and respect, and Beyonce's terrible attempt at appreciating its culture, especially on such an international scene is another example of how far away Africa is from getting it.
Here are the visuals of Beyonce's Performance during the Grammys: