Y'all know I stay feeling a way about race in America and when I saw the video for "Never Catch Me" by Flying Lotus, I had several strong, emotional reactions to the breathetaking performance by featured child dancers. Then, as usual, my initial reaction to seeing black children be great, was followed by a very strong desire to see them get shine followed by an equally disheartening understanding that America is not here to celebrate them.
"Never Catch Me" by Flying Lotus is not about a reluctantly beautiful party girl. It's about death. The video doesn't feature a barely un-naked girl dancer in a blond wig who most of us have seen enough for her to become the subject of parodies and Halloween costumes. It features two amazing young black dancers whose names are Will Simmons and Angel Gibbs by the way. Unlike the Chandelier video dancer, they're not on a first name basis with America. They haven't been on Ellen or Good Morning America or SNL for their performance in this video even though their costumes and performances transcend anything that was done in the Chandelier video. I understand why, and totally get that this is just the way things are and will be.
I know that the Chandelier dancer's reality show stardom proceeded her appearance in Sia's video. Still, a talented minority child dancer would be hard pressed to become a starlet even if they appeared on a questionable reality show.
Big ups to Eric Ducker over at The Fader for his great interview with the director and for asking about the dancers.
I can appreciate what Beyoncé does just like the next sane, un-deaf person with eyes and ears who witnessed what she did with her latest music release. Likewise, I can appreciate work that isn't pre-packaged for guaranteed mass consumption.
Too many black parents bury their kids and too many poor minorities look to a heavenly afterlife for the peace, freedom, happiness and prosperity that they never hope to experience in life on earth.
If you haven't seen the video, watch it now.