Madison E. Johnson

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But where many people get lost in trying to convey the complicated intersections of oppression within the black community without demonizing black men, Beyoncé treads gently, with love.

I Believe

Praise God for a brow furrowed in Act I at the use of gender-neutral pronouns relaxing entirely by Act II as queer black love washes over it. For this has been a cleansing.

Prove it on Me

This is the “you are not alone” of something old and black moving in the thick air that I moved through, too, when I was a beautiful, self-loathing, queer 13 year-old.

Losing It

When a place was made for one kind of person, a thousand working groups, subcommittees, and reports aren’t going to make it into a home for everyone else.


What is it about Missy’s work that shook my blackness in 2005 when I was, like, literally 10 years old? What is it about the tracksuits? All the tracksuits?


A lot of the time, Beyoncé is for everybody. Her music about feminism, love, and partying is for all women, and really for anyone. Her music about heartbreak is for the heartbroken. But what Beyoncé has done with “Formation” is momentous because in its rejoicing it is, unmistakably, by and for black people—especially for black femmes.

What’s Stopping Us?

I can practically hear the crusty old commenters rolling their eyes, cracking their fingers to parody and decry my SJW softness.

Hotline Bling

Everything under the white gaze these days feels like consumption to me.


If you expect your kind of vegetarianism to be perfectly represented by one individual’s, you’re bound to end up feeling a little attacked, a little left out. But if your kind of vegetarianism genuinely, validly hurts people and their identities, you’re not doing it right either.

On Belonging and 'Steven Universe'

Maybe this time you’re not just pretending. Maybe you sing the theme song on the way to class and the trees and the bricks and the stained glass start to feel like home. And all the brown people, all the queer people, even the ones you don’t get along with, even the ones who you’re intimidated by, even the one’s you don’t know and who don’t care to know you, are here to save the day.