It is no coincidence that her first line, “Y’all haters corny with that illuminati mess,” both doubles as a refutation of the conspiracy theory of her involvement with a secret Satanic society as well as an embrace of an African religion that has long been demonized by church folks. Beyoncé is here to reclaim all the aspects of black life that have been rendered as deviant, as waste, as toxic, as destructive. She will conjure it, remix it and remind us of the inherent value of black lives (and why they matter).
The first thing I immediately thought when I saw Beyoncé's “Formation” was that some folks ruts – “roots” – would show. You know, ruts: biases, fears of lineage, missing genealogies, shit like that. And folks don’t like their ruts or their slip showing. Beyoncé showed er’body’s slip, parasol, skeeta bite scars, and conjuring grandmamma essence in this video. And it was scary. Downright gothic. That is, of course, unless you’re southern – by affiliation or blood and maybe hot sauce preference – and your ruts are ALWAYS showing because there was no reason to hide them in the first place.
-Dr. Regina Bradley, Getting in Line: Working Through Beyonce’s “Formation”