She did it again this week. Beyonce Giselle Knowles commanded the world to stop, and pay attention as she unveiled her newest project: an Afro-inspired visual piece titled Black Is King:
Taking to social media to announce the project, Beyonce wrote:
“Black Is King” is a labor of love. It is my passion project that I have been filming, researching and editing day and night for the past year. I’ve given it my all and now it’s yours. It was originally filmed as a companion piece to “The Lion King: The Gift” soundtrack and meant to celebrate the breadth and beauty of Black ancestry. I could never have imagined that a year later, all the hard work that went into this production would serve a greater purpose.
The events of 2020 have made the film’s vision and message even more relevant, as people across the world embark on a historic journey. We are all in search of safety and light. Many of us want change. I believe that when Black people tell our own stories, we can shift the axis of the world and tell our REAL history of generational wealth and richness of soul that are not told in our history books.
With this visual album, I wanted to present elements of Black history and African tradition, with a modern twist and a universal message, and what it truly means to find your self-identity and build a legacy.
I spent a lot of time exploring and absorbing the lessons of past generations and the rich history of different African customs. While working on this film, there were moments where I’ve felt overwhelmed, like many others on my creative team, but it was important to create a film that instills pride and knowledge.
I only hope that from watching, you leave feeling inspired to continue building a legacy that impacts the world in an immeasurable way. I pray that everyone sees the beauty and resilience of our people.
This is a story of how the people left MOST BROKEN have EXTRAORDINARY gifts.❤️✊🏾 Thank you to Blitz, Emmanuel, Ibra, Jenn, Pierre, Dikayl, Kwasi and all the brilliant creatives. Thank you to all at Disney for giving this Black woman the opportunity to tell this story.
This experience has been an affirmation of a grander purpose. My only goal is that you watch it with your family and that it gives you pride.
Everything We Know So Far About Black Is King:
What is Black is King?
Black is King is a visual album that “reimagines the lessons” of Disney’s The Lion King “for today’s young kings and queens in search of their own crowns.” The film highlights the beauty of tradition and Black excellence, and celebrates Black resilience and culture through “lush visuals.” Beyoncé described Black is King as “a story of how the people left MOST BROKEN have EXTRAORDINARY gifts.”
Who Worked On It?
Black Is King was written, directed and executive produced by Beyoncé. The film will reinterpret the lessons imparted in The Lion King, for which Bey did the soundtrack, for today’s young kings and queens who are still finding their place in the world (much like Simba and Nala, who Beyoncé voiced in last year’s live action remake). Using the virtues the fable offers, Black Is King hopes to inspire viewers to think about how they can claim their throne and make a difference in the world.
Are any Africans starring on it?
Nigerian singer Yemi Alade is a frequent Beyonce collaborator and she finds herself in the mix once again. Meanwhile, South Africans will recognise many of their own famous faces as Trevor Stuurman, Nandi Madida, Connie Chiume, Moonchild Sanelly, and Warren Masemola all feature on Black Is King.
When does it release?
The film drops on the 31st of July so the Beyhive won’t have too long to wait until they get to watch it!