I was really, really shocked at the negative response that many Black people have had to Erykah Badu’s “Window Seat” video. Outside of the fact that filming was done without a proper permit (which could bring some legal heat from the City of Dallas), I really didn’t understand the drama. Then I remembered that she’s a black woman.
- She is a black woman who has not allowed her image to be over-sexualized in the media.
- She is not Trina or Lil Kim. She’s not a video vixen
- She is a “natural sista” and “earth mother goddess” whom many have put on a royal pedestal to be held up as an example of truth and light
- She’s done something shocking and many are not comfortable with it.
How dare she make you uncomfortable? How dare she try to do something different and strange? How dare she be so “out of the box.” Right?
This is all about the boxes that Badu is metaphorically evolving from in the video. The boxes that say in the Black community only video hoes, strippers, female rappers and the like can take their clothes off in public. It’s ok for them right? The boxes that are at work right now telling us that we should not THINK that this video is ok. We should think what THEY say we should think, right?
Of course, sisters with wisdom and truth, who wear their hair without chemical straighteners and understand mathematics would never expose themselves to make a point, right?
If you agree with that, I’m sure you’d agree that Black people don’t do performance art anyway? We can’t possibly understand all of the symbolism in the video because we are so caught up in the “groupthink”. The same groupthink that says Waka Flocka Flame and Soulja Boy make good music. Isn’t that right?
So let’s all just take this video at face value and join in the chorus of people who don’t get it and can’t accept it. Let’s stay on the surface and not dig deeper. Let’s assassinate the character of the beautiful black sister who is trying to speak to us from a place of vulnerability in her art. Let’s do to her what she’s already symbolically done to herself…strip down her motives and assassinate her character.
“As soon as the thought came to my mind, I decided to assassinate myself as a gesture. Because it was going to happen anyway. The video is a prediction of what is happening now. […] I would like to say that it was a protest to awaken a term called ‘groupthink.’ It’s a term that was coined in 1952. It’s the recognition of a state of being for humans. It’s human nature for a person to be afraid to express his or her self in fear of being ostracized by the group or general consensus,” the singer explains. – source
I don’t know about y’all, but I’d rather see a video like this, something risky and artistic, than 90% of what I usually see in the media. I’d much rather see nakedness with a point than random booty shaking and bikinis.
Erykah Badu, I love your nakedness, your vulnerability, and your strength. I hope you sell lots of downloads and CDs.