Welcome back to This Week in Black Twitter, your weekly digest of the happenings on Black Twitter and cultural conversations on the Web. Topics will span the gamut — with pop culture, politics, sports, lifestyles and everything in between. This week: Beyonce's album generates controversy, Baltimore youth shot by police and Lil Kim reveals lighter skin tone.
1. Beyonce premiered her visual album "Lemonade" on Saturday night. Displaying images of #BlackGirlMagic and cameos of Sybrina Fulton, Trayvon Martin's mother, and Lesley McSpadden, Michael Brown's mother, the album was about black culture and the black woman experience. Needless to say, the Internet went crazy.
People really could not deal.
From the rumors about who "Becky with the good hair" is (aka Jay-Z's mistress) to calls for black women to lead "Lemonade" coverage, this week has been filled in controversy surrounding the album.
To top it off, the Daily Mail published a column Tuesday by Piers Morgan, who has had a rocky relationship with Black Twitter in the past.
In the column, Morgan recalls an interview he did with Beyonce in 2011, where she says she's happy that people look beyond her race and view her as an artist and musician. He then criticizes the singer for being too political.
He writes: "The new Beyonce wants to be seen as a black woman political activist first and foremost, entertainer and musician second. ... But I have to be honest, I preferred the old Beyonce. The less inflammatory, agitating one. The one who didn't use grieving mothers to shift records and further fill her already massively enriched purse. The one who didn't play the race card so deliberately and to my mind, unnecessarily."
Some agreed with Morgan.
But a lot of people were just not having it.
2. A 14-year-old boy holding a BB gun was shot by a plainclothes officer Wednesday — on the one-year anniversary of the unrest that followed the funeral of Freddie Gray.
Dedric Colvin, an eighth-grader, was shot twice — in the shoulder and in the leg — near basketball courts in East Baltimore, reported The Baltimore Sun. According to Police Commissioner Kevin Davis, the officer, who was identified as Thomas Smith, believed Dedric had a semiautomatic pistol.
"If a person is seen walking down a city street with one of those in his hand, what [does the community] want the police to do?" he asked. "What do they expect us to do? Drive by?"
Some argued the boy shouldn't have had a toy gun.
Other people felt differently about the situation.
DeRay Mckesson, who lost his bid to become Baltimore’s mayor, denounced police violence.
The shooting was eerily similar to Tamir Rice, who was fatally shot while holding an airsoft gun in a Cleveland playground.
Just a few days before, it was reported that Cleveland would pay a $6 million settlement to Tamir's family. The city, however, would not admit to any wrongdoing.
3. Lil' Kim looks unrecognizable, critics said.
The rapper posted a collage of selfies to Instagram recently, modeling blonde hair and noticeably lighter skin.
Users questioned whether Lil' Kim was bleaching her skin to achieve the European standards of beauty that are often portrayed as superior by society. The photos highlight the rapper's struggles with confidence and colorism.
In a 2000 Newsweek interview, she said: "I have low self-esteem and I always have. Guys always cheated on me with women who were European-looking. You know, the long-hair type. Really beautiful women that left me thinking, 'How I can I compete with that?' Being a regular black girl wasn't good enough."
Some were angered and disgusted.
(Lil' Kim and deceased rapper Biggie Smalls were close.)
Others were sympathetic and felt sad for her.
To her fans, Lil' Kim will be remembered as the brown skinned, colorful wig-wearing Queen of Rap.