This isn’t the first time Beyoncé has had something inspired by her life and musical career. Universities in Texas, New Jersey, Arizona, and even Scandanavia are holding classes like “Beyoncé, Gender and Race” and “Beyoncé: Feminism, Race & Politics.” But now, there is a church service making its way around the world that was influenced by the life and music of Beyoncé.
According to an article by the New York Times, “The brainchild of Rev. Yolanda Norton, a Hebrew Bible scholar and the H. Eugene Farlough Chair of Black Church Studies at San Francisco Theological Seminary, the Beyoncé Mass explores how issues of race and gender impact the lives, voices, and bodies of African-American women.”
When the Times sat down with Norton, she explained why she felt creating this space for black women, especially young black women, was important.
She says, “The Mass says to young black girls, You are part of what God had in mind when, during creation, God said, ‘It is good.’ By making the stories and realities of young black women and girls central components of this liturgical art, we’re affirming their realities in a world that is persistent and dogged in its attempts to reject them.”
Norton does clarify that this is not a space to worship the global superstar. While she claims to be a member of the BeyHive, Beyoncé’s international fanbase, but the Mass “uses Beyoncé’s story and songs, from “Formation” to “Flaws and All,” to reframe the narratives and struggles of black women through the lens of the Christian Gospels and their message of radical hospitality and inclusion.”
There is a lot that Beyoncé has taught the world throughout her career, from self-confidence to self-reflection, and it seems that the older she gets, there is more that she is constantly sharing. Norton says, “If you listen to Beyoncé’s testimony. She tells you about how she hears the critiques of people, how she criticizes herself, how she struggles. Just because she has not had to struggle for money doesn’t mean she hasn’t, as a human being, had physical and emotional and spiritual struggles.”
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Moises is a full-time freelance writer based in New York City. He graduated from the Craig Newmark Graduate School of Journalism at CUNY. He reports mainly on arts and culture.