Beyonce

An image pop singer Beyonce
Andrew Harnik / AP Photo

 


As the year comes to a close, popular culture experts Natalie Bullock Brown, professor of film and broadcast media at St. Augustine’s University in Raleigh, and Mark Anthony Neal, professor of African & African American Studies at Duke University in Durham, reflect on cultural media that stood out to in 2016.  They shared some of their favorites from the year in music, movies and television on The State of Things with host Frank Stasio.

An image of singer Beyonce
AP Images

Pop culture icon Beyoncé delivered a powerful message when she released her visual album "Lemonade" last month.

The work is a pop culture phenomenon and alludes to infidelity while portraying strong messages of black feminism. Meanwhile, as Beyoncé reclaims her personal narrative as a celebrity icon, the forthcoming film "The Birth of a Nation" reclaims the story of the Nat Turner slave rebellion.

Rapper Kendrick Lamar recently won five Grammys, but it's his performance at the awards show that's grabbing attention.
Jon Elbaz / Wikimedia Commons

In the last two weeks, musicians Beyonce and Kendrick Lamar have used two of pop culture's biggest stages to showcase their political message.

Beyonce's Super Bowl halftime show included her controversial new song "Formation." Meanwhile, Lamar took home five Grammy awards and offered a visually and lyrically stunning performance of his own songs at the awards show.

The shooting of Michael Brown set off a series of protest nationwide and had Americans questioning the role of police in their communities.
http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:2014_Ferguson_and_Beyond_Rally_12.jpg

  From the streets of Ferguson to the halls of Congress, 2014 saw many pivotal moments in the country's narrative.