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You Can Take A Class On Beyoncé At Rutgers University

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College, man. You can study just about anything. I know I did. When I was in grad school I wrote papers on 1) black and white cop buddy movies, 2) riot grrl and 3) drag queens on film. Like, really. So there’s that. And now, over at Rutgers University in New Jersey, you can take an entire class on Beyoncé. The class will focus on the continuum between Beyoncé Knowles in regards to black feminism, studying Bey’s lyrics alongside/against historical black female figures like Alice Walker and Sojourner Truth. So…. “Single Ladies” vs. The Color Purple? “Run the World (Girls)” vs. Ain’t I A Woman? “She certainly pushes boundaries,” said Professor Kevin Allread of the class. ”While other artists are simply releasing music, she’s creating a grand narrative around her life, her career, and her persona.”

Well, uh, sort of. But she’s doing it from the rather safe bubble of mainstream music, and with the rather safe messaging of rah-rah Spice Girls-inspired girl power. Look, Beyoncé’s great and all, but there’s nothing particularly edgy or transcendent about Beyoncé’s persona that can be compared to a true revolutionary reformer like bell hooks or Sojourner Truth. Is this what we’ve come to? Then again, it could just be Allred’s ploy to get kids to sign up for a class on black feminism. In which case, nice trick. [S2S Magazine]

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