Don’t Be Mad At Beyonce If People Want To Kiss Her Ass

by Kirsten West Savali

When news broke yesterday that Beyonce Knowles was selected to receive a journalism award for her Essence feature story, “Eat, Play, Love,” by the New York Association of Black Journalists, I was stunned – to put it mildly.

In fact, my initial response on Facebook was:

“Wow…Beyonce is winning journalism awards now? I quit.”

Followed swiftly by:

“I think I’ve been going about this journalism thing all wrong. I should get some blonde extensions, learn how to make it clap while saying “uh-oh” and talk about the simple things in life like jumping off of yachts.

That’s the ticket.

*Shreds all rough drafts of articles that empower the Black community and puts on leotard.”

Stunned, I said…to put it mildly.

It’s not that Queen Bey makes a living gyrating and writhing around the globe, nor even that I would stand before a jury and sweet, fictitious 8-pound baby Jesus and claim beyond a reasonable doubt that she hired a ghostwriter. (Shout-out to the ghostwriter; you did your thing!)

No, I’m stunned because the NYABJ proved with that one insulting decision that they are willing to kiss Beyonce’s ass at the expense of hard-working journalists everywhere.

There is no way in the hell that they can convince anyone that not one, single, solitary article in the “arts and entertainment”  category was more “artistic” and “entertaining” than a diary about discovering a love for artichokes and learning to appreciate the little things.

“We don’t believe you, you need more people,” as Beyonce’s husband would say.

In addition to Beyonce, a Lifetime Achievement award is being presented to Robert Naylor, a thirty-year vet who chaired the Associated Press Diversity Council and a founding member of the LGBT Task Force. Tribute will also be paid to late journalism pioneer Gil Noble, host of “Like It Is” since 1967 — not to mention the dozens of other journos who do this for little to no pay and even less recognition day-in and day-out.

That’s some pretty impressive company for the “Bootylicious” penstress to be in and there is no way that she can believe she deserves it.

But, here’s the catch.

It’s not her fault. There is no need to criticize Beyonce for the actions of what should be a legitimate journalism organization. She’s just walking around in her Louboutins, yacht jumping, breastfeeding, flashing her smile, flipping her hair and shaking her ass for her adoring public. In other words, she’s never ventured too far from her lane; unless you count “Dreamgirls” and the other movie that I only remember because of Idris Elba with his fine self, but that’s another article.

In the last 24 hours, I’ve seen vicious comments about her lack of education and pesky plagiarism issues. And while they’re at it, horribly petty people decided to speculate again if she bleaches her skin and why her hair gets blonder and blonder, and if she gave birth to Blue Ivy – better yet, is she’s carrying around some sort of fake baby to throw people off the trail?

I never use this term, so forgive me in advance:

But this is a definite case of people “hating” on Beyonce.

At the end of the day — whether you like her, love her or hate her — she’s still another Black woman (well African-American, Native-American and French woman according to her L’ Oreal ad, but you get my point) doing her thing and doing it well. If you’re mad, write the NYABJ – they’re the ones who placed celebrity over substance. Beyonce is a mother, wife, singer, actress and business woman. What she is not, is a journalist. She also didn’t ask for the award. Educated Black people always preach, scold and berate our young people for placing “stars” on a pedestal, but apparently when the scholarly among us do it, it’s entirely justified.

“This is just one award,” said Michael Feeney, the president of the New York chapter of the Black journalists association. “I know a lot of people are upset but we are honoring a lot of outstanding journalists on that night. Beyoncé is a role model. I hope this honor will inspire other girls to pursue a career in journalism.”

No, Mr. Feeney, it may possibly inspire other young girls to pursue a glamorous entertainment career so that that they too can have accolades such as a “Most Beautiful Woman in the World”  thrown at them (as if there is such a thing) — and “journalism” awards for articles about a vacation. What it will not do is encourage any scholarly pursuit whatsoever. Let’s be real.

But then again – since the NYAJB has garnered more media exposure over this decision than, well, ever – maybe encouraging young people was never really the point…was it?


  • Girl Pleez

    You clearly don’t like Beyonce. You’ve attacked her in this whole article about everything, yet say that people shouldn’t blame her, when in actual fact you are. While you’re pissed off at the fact that they make your career choice out to be something easy, you also blame her for her career choices and put entertaining down as if you could do it better than she can. I mean, as you say, a person doesn’t need a single brain cell to do what she does.

    Quit writing or don’t but please get over yourself, anyone with a single brain cell can write total utter bullshit and claim it’s thout provoking, you’ve just proven that right now.

  • StacyAustralia

    Damn, that was harsh. Smh

  • Jazz


    The entire article was contradicting. I was confused at times. The writer tells you to not hate on Beyonce but her tone is very condescending.

  • StacyAustralia

    I agree it’s not her fault she received the award. Blame it on the organization. I’ve also read several negative comments about her writing. It is what it is.

  • stellaxo

    You may not be a fan of Beyonce, and that’s fine, but the title and the content of this article are a bit contradictory.
    You ARE mad at Beyonce, and regardless if its “ass kissing” or a genuine acknowledgment of her skills, in your perfect world, she wouldn’t be recognized for such an honor.
    Things aren’t always going to go your way, and you need to dissect your feelings of jealousy.

    Beyonce is a very hard worker, and she’s very persistent- if you really think that show business- and being in it for ~20 years really is/says nothing, then that’s fine too.

    At the end of the day it all comes down to you.
    Why does this news affect you or your skills as a journalist? Why do you think it devalues whatever you might have to offer our generation??
    I always think jealousy is part love for a person and part dislike- you can like and dislike things about someone without making jabs at their character or integrity- this isn’t RHOA or elementary school.

    If you really think all it takes for you to be the next great journalist is to don a blonde wig and gyrate on a stage, then do it. (hell, it sure is better than venting all of your jealousy & hatred in the form of an article.)
    If this award is something you want, FOCUS on becoming that- stay in your lane & worry about your own race. Nothing good really comes out of jealousy: some of the best writers, dancers, etc did not/would not have gotten where they have, had they been consumed by the negative energy that came with seeing someone else succeed and feeling bad about themselves.

  • Wexler

    This article is completely laughable, this writer loses integrity with each contradictory statement she makes.

  • http://clutchmagonline Seriously

    @ Girl Pleez you are so right. People need to focus on their own successes…or failures.

  • ShayShay


  • Sasha

    I don’t care much for any of Ms. West Savali’s articles but geeze these comments are a little harsh. Come on guys let her vent, everyone needs to every now and again! Clearly Ms. Savali and Beyonce have both put a lot of work into their craft HOWEVER I completely understand where Ms. Savali is coming from and I think all the points she’s made are valid. It’s really not hating….does Beyonce not make her living by shaking her ass and while singing? Okay then. I think it is very insulting the NYABJ gave this award to Beyonce out of every other legitimate candidate out their who has spent their time and money to mold their career. It’s a slap in the face and though I am not a writer I definitely can see why many would be angered by their decision.

  • girlformerlyknownasgrace

    I think the article follows a linear pattern. She first states that she was stunned at the news, and even acknowledges the responses of others on the internet. Then she says that it is the fault of NYABJ for giving the award, (an organization that has a high school program that I participated in and learned a lot from, by the way) and not Beyonce’s although I have to point out, you do have to submit your article for consideration for this award to win, so I do have to question whether Beyonce was really just standing idly by and this award was just thrust upon her….).

    She is trying to say, I think, that it was NYABJ’s fault for giving such a poorly conceived award, and that people’s “hating” was misdirected.

    Let’s just be thankful this wasn’t the Pulitzer’s. Then I would really throw a hissy fit.

  • Tami

    1st of all, let me say that I love me some Beyonce. I think she is beautiful, talented, humble. I admire her. But when i heard about this award, I was like what! So, i had to read the article she wrote…Ok…It was nice…But award worthy? No, that’s a slap in the face to hard working journalists everywhere. Beyonce doesn’t need another award. She has enough & its not her fault as the author states…I really think the NY Association of Black Journalists should rethink their decision.

  • http://clutchmagonline Seriously

    So true!

  • kidole

    Maybe if you put your energy into writing more positive and uplifting pieces like Beyonce did, you could win an award too. I reserve the term “hater” for times such as this!

  • Tameeka M.

    As a freelance journalist and someone with a degree in journalism. I do understand the upset by some of my fellow writers. But agree that the anger is definitely toward NABJ of NY and not Beyonce.

    There were far more talented journalists that wrote great introspective and travel pieces in 2011. (I not being one of them, as I do not often write features or travel articles)

    I am disappointed with NABJ for their choice, especially because this once contradicts so much of the propaganda they promote about the integrity and skill taken to be in this field. Awarding a degree for popularity sake, does not promote to young women that journalism is a field that they should seek to thrive in.

    As a fan (not a stan) of Beyonce and one that feels slated for her, when she does not get the recognition that she is due on occasion. My heart goes out, to those wonderful overlooked and talented writers as well.


  • Crystal

    Loved your comment! I completely agree. This article was trash, hardly noone loves for B to be great!! We should support each other as black woman and give praise instead of trying to disect and tear each other down. As you stated blame the organization if you want to give blame, if she was chosen to write an article and won let her bask in her moment.

  • QueenOfCastle

    @Girl Pleez

    I agree with you. I couldnt do what Beyonce does and neighter can most people. We’ve also seen people who are doing what Beyonce does crumble under the pressure. She has maintained herself so well. What more does she have to do? Cure cancer?

  • LN

    I think that everyone is missing the point here. Beyonce is not to blame, the National Association of Black Journalists is.

    I am a former member of the NABJ and their youth arm Young Black Journalists (YBJ) and both organizations are a BIG JOKE!

    NABJ has become an attention whoring organization that can’t hang on to its own relevance. Instead of mentoring its young members, or building a substantial counter organization to the white mainstream press, they send PRESS RELEASES out to WHINE every time a major news outlet cuts a black employee. As a member, the ONLY CALLS I ever got from them were a.) to register for their OVER PRICED conferences (I did attend one, and left hundreds of dollars poorer with NO new connections or mentors) or b.) about their stupid internal elections.

    Them awarding Beyonce is nothing but a ploy for attention. I’m guessing that Essence submitted the article to NABJ for review during awards season, and they selected it because it would make a great headline, make them seem relevant and get them some attention.

    I worked for an all-black newspaper a year or so before the economy started to tank and I remember all the NABJ members who worked at mainstream publications (most of them did/do) turning their noses up at us, because they didn’t consider us a “real” news outlet. These were NABJ members who were working at ESPN, Chicago Tribune, New York Times, etc, etc. When the recession happened and the journalism industry had MASSIVE (I mean, like, 50% of the work force) layoffs, [self-important] journalists or color at major publications were the FIRST to be let go.

    These same mess-talking NABJ members came back to our little all-black newspaper hat-in-hand and foot-in-mouth trying to get a job. SMH.

    So, please, don’t pull Beyonce into this. I know for a fact that she couldn’t have been the one to submit her piece to NABJ (publications have to submit on behalf of individuals) and I doubt she even knew that it had been submitted for consideration.

    This is just NABJ being NABJ. SMH.

  • Miss J

    Kirsten West Savali get a life , and you need to take several seat back , hate the game nio the player . it’s sad to see black women alwasy going at each other instead of supporting each other.. What a waste

  • girlformerlyknownasgrace

    Thank you LN!! I mean, I did not want to be the one to say it, but the organization is not really one that carries a lot of weight. Not to discredit it or anything.

  • Fatima


  • apple

    *waves hand*

  • Queen

    I’ve been a Beyonce fan since day one. Truth be told I’m not at all surprised at their decision since the economy organizations have been eager to create news rather report news. The more hype the better. I’m really happy for Beyonce but my heart does go out to all the writers who have worked hard over the years without any acclaim.

    Awards and praise don’t make the writer…the work makes the writer and as long as your work can bring about some small change that’s all that should matter (which I know is easier said than done when you have to pay the bills). We will all have our moment to shine…when we are good and ready. :) Patience…

  • KB

    Wow. You just educated me. I majored in journalism undergrad at FAMU, so I was familiar with NABJ but have since pursued a career as a historian so I never really had a real experience in the professional world of Black journalists. You should reeeaaaallly consider forwarding this to folks in your field who may listen or even as a catalyst for a new crew to organize and launch another association. These kinds of issues plague many of our organizations and perhaps the dialogue you are sparking (and the leadership I sense from your words) can be the beginning of some much needed change. Thanks. You got me thinking…

  • Todra

    Why is it every time someone tells the truth about a celeb, they are accused of being jealous and not liking said star? Celeb mafia come out in groups to “protect” their star. This article is so on point, it’s not even funny. A celebrity who is not a journalist should not be getting a journalist award. End of story. This is an insult to the many amazing writers out there who will never get this award. You can talk about how much you like Beyonce’s music, but you CANNOT in no way justify giving a SINGER a journalism award. The author speaks the truth. Stop making her out to be some petty female with a bone to pick. Oh, and that organization needs to be ashamed of themselves. They are a disgrace to real organizations who are making decisions based on achievement, not notoriety.

  • apple

    i understand where the writer is coming from. you know how when you’re working towards something really hard, and then someone with less talent comes along and take it just because of who they are, or who they are related to,what they look like or just pure luck? kinda what authors/future authors felt about stephanie meyer, how talented people trying to make it feel about kim kardashian, or how you could feel about nepotism in a company or any line of work.

    we all have encountered at least once

  • df

    Couldn’t care less about Beyonce either way but then again, I’m not a journalist….

  • girlformerlyknownasgrace

    WAAAAIIIITTT…I just realized, we were talking about two different organizations. The one in the article and the one I was talking about is NYABJ (New York Association of Black Journalists). You are talking about the Nat’l Assoc. of Black Journalists. But some of these organizations may be plagued by similar issues unfortunately, which does raise a lot of interesting and necessary discussion as KB points out. Sometimes Black news outlets do not have the support that they need for a variety of reasons and it would be ultimately useful.

  • Tia

    +1 …you went IN.

  • Clarity Jane

    I’m no die-hard fan of Beyonce or her music but I acknowledge that she’s a hard worker and good at what she does. I haven’t read her piece in Essence but I can believe that Bey will win journalistic awards before the author of this article ever will.

    I mean seriously, this article is shoddy to say the least. The best thing about this article is the title…I agree, Beyonce is not to blame for the lick ass-ness of certain organisations, we live in a society that is celebrity obsessed, maybe they are trying to raise their profile by association, I dunno but I think that this writer needs to check herself before she publishes contridictory rants because it’s doing nothing for her own credibilty. She tries to come off all dimplomatic whilst at the same time she indirectly insults Beyonce and trivialises her craft….You ruined your point in the first couple of paragraphs, no wonder you’re not winning, this article was an epic fail.

  • The Comment

    Ms. Savali. Only a real journalist feels your pain. That people would attack you as being a hater proves how simple minded fools have become now days. This chick has the diction of a 3rd grader, has traveled the world but refuses to understand it (remember the Egyption historian who called Beyonce stupid?) and is nothing more than a glorified nit wit. Print media is no joke. As a former member of NABJ….people have no idea what talented young men and women depend on these awards to show future newspapers they are worth their salt.

    Short of writing a dissertation, most people do not understand the pressure real journalist face deadline after deadline. Hounding people for interviews, researching boring data, shifting thru old outdated books to find the history of a matter.

    Beyonce fans remind me of people who enable stupidity within the black community and pass it of as genius. Beyonce is talented but she is by far no genius. She is a simple minded singer with simple lyrics to match. This award is not created for simpletons.

  • KiaJD

    The comments don’t seem any more harsh to me than the tone of the original article, really. *shrug*

  • Todra

    I love this! You are so correct in the words I’ve highlighted below. I don’t know anything about Beyonce to comment on her intelligence, so I won’t. Although I do agree that her lyrics are “basic” to say the least, but American audiences don’t seem to require very much from entertainment, so I’m not going to debate that one either.

    “People have no idea what talented young men and women depend on these awards to show future newspapers they are worth their salt.

    Short of writing a dissertation, most people do not understand the pressure real journalist face deadline after deadline. Hounding people for interviews, researching boring data, shifting thru old outdated books to find the history of a matter.”

  • KiaJD

    It’s quite possible to take the author’s point — that Beyonce was not deserving of the award but she’s not to blame, it’s the granting organization’s standards and pandering that’s truly at fault — and STILL think that the author’s manner of laying that point out was unnecessarily harsh and honestly contrary to some of the very points she’s trying to make.

    Seems like she would have been better served to allow for a longer cool-down period before writing this because it’s as if she’s still seething over the slight to journalists everywhere (as she would likely frame it). Since you’re a “real journalist” too, then you should be able to see that this piece was not balanced and that the author’s personal feelings overshadowed the valid point she set out to make.

    You can chalk the comments up to “Beyonce stans” and people who don’t know the first about journalism, but IMO anyone can see as plain as day that this one didn’t quite hit the mark.

  • girlformerlyknownasgrace

    +1 about the journalism hustle…it’s a tough life! And a lot of work! And they are so underpaid and under-appreciated! (that’s why I couldn’t do it full-time!)

  • Tricia

    Ouch….. what a post!!

  • KiaJD

    Also: Do you realize that by attacking Beyonce, her diction, and her writing abilities as opposed to the folks who gave her that award that you’re doing exactly what the author says is the problem (when she gets around to making her point)? Just saying. It’s not like Beyonce took the award in the dark of night. They gave it to her and then tried to justify it in a statement. The whole idea of this piece is that no matter what you think of her, you should be holding the organization that’s supposed to represent black journalists to a higher standard.

  • The Comment

    Really? So the articles written on Clutch is her only work? Really? Unlike your current skills set…writing is expansive; it is not limited to a desk or a headset. You have no idea what this author is working on. I’m sure she has a better chance writing something more substantial than penning a piece from a recycled headline and passing it off as journalism.

  • WMP

    Who was the competition for the award? I want to know exactly what pieces were less triumphant than her Essence piece…

  • The Comment

    @ Todra….

    Today’s music is very debatable. It is all rehashed mindless tunes created to dumb down the masses. Beyonce is great at this.

  • LN

    @girlformerlyknownasgrace @KB Thanks for the feedback ladies!

    I checked on their site, and NYABJ is the New York branch of NABJ:, so it is the same organization.

    I entered the journalism industry 6 years ago, fresh out of college and very naive. By the time I left newspaper reporting about 5 years later, I was very disillusioned with the way black journalists treat each other in the industry.

    I remember going to the UNITY conference in 2008 which, back then, was primarily coordinated by NABJ and spotting one of my heroes, Alison Keyes, a black journalist who has reported for NPR for close to 20 years. I shyly went up to her to ask her advice about making it in journalism and, in front of a group of other established black journalists, she looked at me and said, “That’s not what I’m here for.” and then turned her back to me and kept talking. Oh, and she was talking to these other journalists about how was having sex with her “conference boy toy” who was 20 years younger than here. They were all laughing. I was horrified.

    The NABJ “conferences” are basically a big frat party for established journalist. There is little to no emphasis on building young talent. I joined my local chapter of NABJ (Chicago) and signed up for the mentoring program. I was assigned a mentor who wrote for the Chicago Tribune and their sister publication RedEye. He didn’t attempt to meet with me ONCE. All he did was say hi to me when I attended chapter meetings.

    After 4 years of foolishness I left the organization and journalism altogether. The thing is that competition for jobs at “top” publications — like the Trib, Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, etc — is VERY fierce. And the black people who manage to get into those positions, more often than not, aren’t trying to help other black people get there too. They see it as a threat to their spot. So mentorship is not a priority AT ALL.

    I could pull out a ton more NABJ horror stories. Like the time I went to a mixer in downtown Chicago and a guy who was starting a news website said he’s give me a job if I went out on a “date” (basically sleep) with him.

    That’s why it’s so pathetic now that all they do is whine and attention whore.

  • Miss J

    Correecting me if I’m wrong but Beyoncé was not competing against Journalist she was competing against other celibrity

  • Nestafan2

    I can’t believe the same person who wrote that ‘letter’ to Michelle Obama could win an award for journalism. That letter looked like it was written by a child. I don’t have a problem with Beyonce, and she is good at what she does, but awarding her for a magazine article (that she may or may not have written) is a stretch.

  • stellaxo

    @ Todra
    “the truth”??
    are you a journalist? this ‘article’ has way more (judgmental, if i may say) opinions in it than facts; it tells more about the author than it does about beyonce.
    And people dabble into other fields of work all of the time, whether by interest or
    financial strains- why is that a problem?
    If mk & ashley want to be actors, design, and start a cooking line, so what?
    Should beyonce have kept her essays to herself or just denied herself of expressing her ideas through writing because of the fear that she would offend so many people?

    also, it may seem like it especially as we get older, but -
    people aren’t defined by their careers!
    You CAN be an acclaimed musician and a recognized writer.
    (again, whether she gained the title by fame or true merit, i do not and will not know)
    Life isn’t a school talent show where everyone is defined by one particular art & everyone leaves with an award. It is possible to be good at two, three or more things.
    I still don’t believe or understand how (besides publicity) it takes away from the artistry of other aspiring journalists.

    If you don’t see the jealousy all over this article, i don’t know what to say.
    A more direct analysis could have included excerpts from beyonce’s essay and maybe essays from the past that have won- maybe showing how the NYABJ has changed over the years? Because writing ‘this girl just does _____ everyday and composes an essay and she gets an award, while people like me get nothing’ sounds more like a toddlers tantrum than a serious article.

    Awards are nice, but if you need one to be able to love the job you’re doing in life, maybe you should switch career paths. People put too much emphasis on things like this- stop being a kanye and have a few seats. If there weren’t the NYABJ, there would still be journalists; if there were never the Grammy’s, guess what?
    there would still be musicians. these awards don’t define us, but we let them!
    i might be a little too much of an optimist, but i think that even though there may be a struggle, artists/workers with passion and dedication will rise to the top.

  • LN

    Oops… in my passion I got my timeline wrong, lol. I entered journalism right out of college 6 years ago, and left the industry 4 years after entering.

    Also KD I totally agree that there needs to be a discussion. Where and how, I’m not sure. But it certainly needs to be had!

  • Todra


    I am a paid writer. I write and consult for regional and national print magazines and online sources. I do NOT consider myself a journalist because, like Beyonce, I do not write hard-hitting news pieces that should receive awards or qualify as “journalism”.

    But I make a living. And I know how the industry works, thank you.

    And for the record, this article we’re commenting on is an OPINION piece. Op eds are always written with passion and dare I say, attitude. Even when you read them in the NY Times and they are on politics, war, entertainment, etc. And they always stir up controversy because not everyone is going to agree with the author’s point of view. But that’s okay. I happen to agree with her perfectly. I’ll give you that this article was very snarky, but that’s fine. NEWS pieces are supposed to be balanced and objective. Not so with opinion pieces.

  • QofNewcastle

    @The Comment

    No one is praising Beyonce as being a sage of the ages. If the author wanted to criticise the award giving to her, than she should have limited it to the awarding body. Beyonce name didnt even have to be mentioned but once. Calling Beyonce a “glorified nit wit” and accusing her of barely being literate discredits both you and the author. No wonder the journalism industry is going down the tubes. The market is speaking and apparently journalists are obsolete. In a few years time, while walking into WalMart I might say hi to you.

    “Print media is no joke”

    Apparently it is.

    Youre no Woodward and Bernstein and unlike you, Beyonce is at the top of her game. You probably wish you could say the same.

  • iQgraphics

    Ever since beyonce bought…. excuse me “won” the millennium billboard award, none of these accolades going forward surprise me.

  • Fleur

    I thoroughly enjoy reading “Eat, Play, Love” by Beyonce G. Knowles, so congratulations on receiving this journalism award Bey. “Eat, Play, Love” deserves winning the Arts & Entertainment NYABJ category. Very well deserved, King B.

  • Shell

    1. Bey is NOT a role model.
    2. We all know including the NYABJ that she didnt write that article.

    this is the society we live in now. Hard work still pays off, but status and $ pays off better.

  • Bee

    Really, what is the point of this article? Really.

  • stellaxo

    @ Todra,
    “Why is it every time someone tells the truth about a celeb, they are accused of being jealous and not liking said star?”

    Im not trying to be snarky by quoting you, btw!
    I understand where you’re coming from; I was mainly referring to you calling this article “the truth” (as if it were *not* an op-ed) and implying that the rest of us who take issue with this piece are ludicrous for calling the author out on her dislike of beyonce.
    But, a) she doesn’t like beyonce- its obvious.
    and b) this article does have tones of jealousy. I think even if the author wanted to critique this award and its the merit of its recipient, she could have gone about it in a different way.
    I never once implied that you didn’t know how the industry works (thanks for telling me though), but if you have any background knowledge to add that could help others (including myself) understand how this move by the organization was so foul, I’d truly be interested in hearing it.

  • girlformerlyknownasgrace

    Oh, thanks for the clarification :)

    I think what kind of grinded my gears with journalism was the fact that news on African-Americans and Blacks of the Diaspora were often portrayed in mainstream media. I thought that writing for an African newspaper would shed light on the difference but I realized that they were part of the problem! The same negative stories about themselves–bombings, raids, corrupt generals. And then Western media picks up on these stories. I feel like the problems with reporting on Black issues is systematic and pervasive. And it left me feeling defeated.

  • iQgraphics


  • Todra

    @Stellaxo, I see your point in my use of the word, “truth”. I didn’t mean it as this is news style truth, just that the words she wrote are true (Beyonce is not a journalist and should not receive a journalism award for one article written for magazine – that she MAY not have even written).

    Before becoming a beauty writer, I was a successful celebrity makeup artist. I have never worked with Beyonce, so I am not making a statement about her in particular, BUT the celebs I worked around didn’t do any of their own crap. Most books “written” by celebs (or even big name Christian pastors!) are ghost written. And so many other things that they receive accolades for is just a big pile of BS. It drives me crazy that America plays up celebs so much and makes it seem like they are superheros when they do what they do – entertain – and hire other people to do everything else and then they take the credit for it.

    I stand by my comment that I think journalists (especially black journalists who have to work extra hard for recognition) should be appalled at this travesty.

  • The Comment

    LMAO……y u sooo mad. God don’t like ugly!

    Sweetie. Look. You come from the mindset that you have to be rich to be happy or successful. Good for you. But people like me…..students who are often the only black in a school board meeting, economic council meeting, street cleaning meeting– covering events that simpletons like you don’t have the mental clarity to refrain from yawning during a 3 hour session covering sewer pipes– are the bone and marrow of journalism. Ask any journalist (assuming your circle of friends have a clue) working in small towns. When the sh*t goes down and Brain Williams has to have that angle the the other networks won’t have…his editors call us…the little people…to feed him the right information based on facts, figures and statistics only a reporter can whip up in a matter of seconds because they live the town. They remember the history of who shot Johnny and why.

    Unlike you…there are people who enjoy their life even though we live check to check. Fine with me. I’m going to grad school in the fall with the aid of a fellowship. I’m happy. Speaking ebonics and having the diction of a 3rd grader was not appealing me. But good for you that you and Beyonce have so much in common. I’m sure she will write you a thank u card.

    and I don’t shop at walmart..but nice try.

  • Sasha

    @The Comment and @Todra: Kudos to having the most sensible comments in regards to this post! People just do not GET it.

    You’ve pretty much said all that needs to be said with this statement- “Beyonce fans remind me of people who enable stupidity within the black community and pass it of as genius.”

  • I got sense!


  • stellaxo

    @ Todra

    I understand your stance more now- which has issues with beyonces true merit rather than an organization recognizing someone well-known in another field- and i respect that.

    i also want to clear it up that in my first comment towards you, i only was directing the first paragraph towards you; the rest were just my opinions that were a bit tangential; I tend to do that and should reserve those general comments for general replies.
    so apologies if you took that the wrong way.
    you really don’t have to have a few seats.
    :) lol
    although i don’t know much about ghostwriting & how prevalent it is (especially in hollywood), I’ll stick to a my opinion & we can agree to disagree! :)

  • shawnte

    this award did exactly what they intended for it to do. make people who’d never-ever heard of the NYABJ aware of it’s existence.

  • Luggie2

    These celebities, are getting awards, reconition, degrees, etc. for things their asses never worked toward. They announced this morning that Shack will receive his PHD degree. Bull Shit! These people are paying others to do their work and yes, this is what society we are living in. I use to support these people, but my father told me to put self first because these people who you comtributing to will never be there for you.The people who puts in hard work you don’t here anything, that why they will never get a dime of my hard working dollars.

  • Luggie2

    This woman don’t have a high school diploma, but she’s getting credit for something someone else propbably supplied in her name. Set an example for the young people by getting your GED. Shaking your ass isn’t strenghtening the mind for growth, it just putting them into another category for failure!

  • francais

    sister I love your writing! this article was substantive, and your point well argued and intelligent. yours is the kind of writing that first brought me to clutch, but that i’ve been missing for about a good 2 years now when zettler clay still used to write for clutch.

  • Kanyade

    Yup, basically.

  • Luggie2

    Beyonce don’t even have a high school diploma! Don’t come with that shit she is working on it. She just got money and this just a screwed up ass world! If she didn’t have money, she wouldn’t get credit for shit! Next week they will post that she earned a PHD!

  • QofNewcastle

    @The Comment

    Thanks to the New Media, youre no longer needed. I have the internet, I have a camera on my phone, I have a twitter feed, I have face book, I have You Tube, there are countless blogs I can go to… I think you get my point. Youre obsolete babes. We dont need a cadre of self appointed “journalist” to give us the news. Its far more democratic than it used to be. The way media is changing, Im surprised you dinosaurs have the cheek to even say you have a profession.

  • QofNewcastle


    Journalist choose their life and the market chooses their crap pay. You want to make money, take your behind to medical school.

  • QofNewcastle

    @The Comment

    Stop blaming your lacklustre career on Beyonce. The only relevant thing about you in recent memory are your comments about her.

  • Kirsten West Savali

    Some of these comments are so hilarious! Wow, I knew Beyonce fans were the truth, but this is taking it to a whole, nother level.

    Couple of things here, then I’ll let you ladies get back to calling me a “hater” *blank stare

    1.) The comments on FB were sarcasm. Sarcasm. I know it’s an alien concept, but every now and then, I’m sarcastic.

    2.) I don’t dislike Beyonce, I think Beyonce is a pop star who sells sex and beauty to make a living. Sure, that sex appeal and beauty have gotten her other opportunities, but until she started taking off her clothes and roll/bouncing all over the floor, she was not the above criticism pop star that she is today. (Seriously, I think she spent almost an entire year performing in a leotard — including when she sang ‘Ava Maria’ in a bride ensemble. You can’t tell me that’s not funny.) I have also written about her homage to wife beater Fela Kuti by appearing as one of his Queens in Blackface. I don’t hate her; I just don’t take her seriously. Sue me.

    That does not make me a hater. Every now again, I like one of her songs when it comes on the radio and I was thrilled for her — and hubby — about the baby. And disgusted at the vitriol that was thrown at them. If any of you can tell me one thing that I’ve posted about Beyonce that is untrue, I’ll be happy to address it. Until then, get over it, it is what it is.

    I clearly say that “At the end of the day — whether you like her, love her or hate her — she’s still another Black woman (well African-American, Native-American and French woman according to her L’ Oreal ad, but you get my point) doing her thing and doing it well.”

    I don’t write for accolades nor for people to agree with what I write, I write because I breathe. Period.

    At the end of the day, if anyone is mad about anything, they should be angry at the NYABJ for pretending that this award was well-conceived and honest in it’s intention. Or, you can congratulate Beyonce and move on — whatever floats your boat. That is your right, this is mine.

    Thanks for reading,


  • QofNewcastle


    You sound sad.

  • Robbie

    @The Comment @Todra. I really understand your point. As a journalism student also. I know how hard this industry is especially for people of color.

    I am a big fan of Beyonce but I do think that there are more deserving journalists than her. It is not her fault and I blame the NYBA for giving it to her in the first place. People who are not in that field cannot fully understand it. The same way as non actors we cannot understand why classicaly trained actors get mad when the studios hire rappers or singers based on popularity and create press, or when Tyler Perry hired a reality TV star for one of his movie role.

    I agree with the things that you both said. It takes a lot to do this work and the pay is not that good, I have also to point out that many writers or journalists are not staff but work freelance for less that what youwould expect them to be making considering the amount of time it takes to report the news, do interviews, fact-check, going to the source and more.

  • BlackWomen&GirlsNeedLoveToo

    People need to leave Beyonce alone. She is just a Black woman doing her thing and getting her success on. Why all the hate? SMDH.

    Also, I find it strange how the writer kept making judgemental references to Beyonce’s comfort with her sexuality/beauty, but had no problem talking mentioning how “fine” Idris Elba is in her mind.

    Typical. Any display of sexuality from a Black woman is “bad” but it is “okay” to talk about how “fine” some Black male is.

    Typical anti-Black female double-standard nonsense. SMDH.

    Congrats Bey! Keep WINNING gurl!

  • Sasha

    1) People do not read for depth or comprehension. The evidence of this can be found in some of the comments above the comments.

    2) Because of Twitter and other various social media, if what you’re saying is more than 160 characters, people aren’t able to process or discern any meaning and they start to sweat because their brain isn’t used to being worked so hard.

  • QofNewcastle


    “The same way as non actors we cannot understand why classicaly trained actors get mad when the studios hire rappers or singers based on popularity and create press, or when Tyler Perry hired a reality TV star for one of his movie role.”

    Listening to you and “The Comment” crying I wish I were classically trained in the world’s smallest violin. The studios dont stop anyone from acting. Any classically trained actor can go and act at the community theatre if their craft means so much. They can play at the local university or for the high school, or for the senior center down the street, if their craft meant so much. No one is entitled to fame and fortune. If the award given to Beyonce is proof of some social decline, your sense of entitlement is the pudding its swimming in.

  • HowApropos


    While I can understand the sentiments of those who oppose the award being given, it’s pretty awful that she has to be dragged through the mud for everything she’s accomplished.

    I’m very proud of her and congrats to her.

    I’m a fan, not a stan…

  • Kirsten West Savali

    Really, that’s what you got from that? I judge her “comfort” with her sexuality?

    Trust me, the day Idris Elba starts gyrating around half naked in the winter for no apparent reason, talking about he’s “bootylicious,” I will clown his “fine” self too.

    You can mark it on your calendar.

  • dmark

    This whole artictle screams lets hate on Beyonce, even though u say lets not. SMH Beyonce is a true musical talent unlike the other popstars. U can buy blond extentions, gyrate and do the uh oh booty dance but u will not b Beyonce! Shes an amazing vocalist and dancer! She may shake her ass but she dont have too. Who cares what people say, that still want stop her success!

  • Robbie

    @Qof. I could not care less about Beyonce getting an award. I am a big fan of hers and I hate when people pick on her. What I was saying is that I can understand from where The Comment is coming from. Yes these actors can do what you suggested but that does not mean that everyone wants to go that route. Celebrities work hard to get where they are and I don’t knock down their accomplishments but at the end of the day, there are a lot of deserving people that get a pass because we live in a celebrity obsess society.

    As I stated, I do understand why some writers would be frustated or upset about it especially if many of them are working their butt off and are dedicated to their field of work. At the end of the day, this does not bother me at all because I simple don’t care. I don’t point the blame at B and I am not here to bring her down at all. I put the blame where it is on the NYBA. Dont’ get things confuse, I am not upset nor being a hater just
    saying it how I see it.

  • Kirsten West Savali

    Thank you, Sasha. I swear, nothing good that I said about her has even been mentioned, but that’s ok. I expected it. :-)

  • Glow

    @LN Thank you! Someone tells it like it is about NABJ! I was in my university’s chapter and they were the most laziest, snobbish, and unhelpful group of folks ever, so I feel ya on that! I left after two foolish years of doing practically nothing. I made zero contacts, there wasn’t any mentoring of any kind or all the other things the group promises to do…like you said, they don’t emphasize or help upcoming young talent at all, and that shocked me. All they did was whine about how hard it is for Black journalists and about gathering “the building fund” money for that expensive as hell conference. NABJ didn’t stop me from continuing in journalism, it just made me aware that sometimes you can’t rely on ‘your people’ that they will knock and not care about your hustle too, and I hate to say it that Black folks—we have it bad when it comes to that. I did MUCH better when I got involved in the university paper and with projects my professors swayed my way, but NABJ is quite a joke. I thought it was just me or my university’s chapter, but I see it’s a wider issue…glad I’m not alone in my thoughts! Even though I’m not a fan of Bey, I’m not blaming her for this bull shiggity.

    I’m with @KB … a new organization needs to be made or something, it would be nice to have something that would actually help young Black journalists instead of making them feel excluded and unimportant like this award show definitely is.

  • Todra

    @Stellaxo, I enjoyed the conversation. No worries. Have a great weekend.

  • iQgraphics

    and yes

    but even more so, what’s sad is the first time a person injects their own opinion in an opinion editorial piece, which is hilarious (might I add), they get accused of “hating”.

  • Kacey

    Kirsten, those of us who are able to think both critically and analytically understood you the first time. Those of us who are able to sit back and observe the society in which we live for what it truly is understood you the first time. Those of us whose lives are not consumed with following and emulating false idols understood you the first time.
    You did not have to explain yourself!

  • girlformerlyknownasgrace

    Honestly, sometimes I read the articles and then the comments, and wonder if people just read what they want to see. I don’t see how else people can miss the nuances that draw the line between out-and-out hatred and subtle tones of skepticism.

  • AI


  • stellaxo

    Call me blind, but honestly, i didn’t read anything positive in this article.
    And a sincere question: if you say that any feelings of anger should be directed towards the NYABJ, then why is so much of the article focused on beyonce, ‘the star’?
    Not her essay, or past essays recognized by the NYABJ; not the field of journalism and how this problem impacts others?
    You’re taking what she does on stage and in front of cameras and using that to tell us that ‘that girl’ has won this award. From my viewpoint, it just doesn’t sound balanced- it seems like you’re just out to get her from the gate.

    You say that you think beyonce is a pop star who sells beauty and sex for a living and later mention that you don’t take her seriously.
    What pop star doesn’t fall under any of these categories?
    And maybe i’m reading into things too much, but if she’s made her way by selling beauty and sex, so what? You seem to mention this a lot; however, she’s an entertainer! She does things that the ‘average person’ wouldn’t do because its a show- meant to fixate the eyes of an audience and shock them.

    Honestly, I *like* beyonce, but i’m definitely far from a stan.
    (I think my reasons are quite similar to yours)
    If there was an article this harsh about pretty much any other person- (SERIOUSLY, even if it were like, amber rose that people were throwing stones at during a time where she has achieved something), i would still be against it.
    I think there are some good points in the comments that have sided with you, but the article seems like it should have another focus rather than beyonce.

  • AI

    I wanted to believe this would be an insightful article about celebrity-worship and opportunism, but the title should have alerted me that the author would spend most of the article subtly “slut-shaming” Beyonce for her appearance and music and snuffing others’ choices to giver her accolades (no one had a problem with the People “Most Beautiful” award or took that term so literally until Beyonce got it) before glossing over the main point. It’s clear that the NYABJ used her celebrity to bring attention to its conference, and certainly at the expense of other individuals dedicated to the practice of journalism. I wish the author would have used the journalistic skills she’s lauding to articulated this point without the ugliness and with some actual scholarly discourse (examples of past instances of this phenomenon? insight into society’s values that lead to this phenomenon?). Perhaps my hopes were too high.

  • kidole

    You not only sound sad but much like someone who judges the quality and value of a person by the amount of degrees they do or do not have. A person’s heart, soul, spirit, and actions have little to do with a Master’s or Ph.d, there is more to life.

  • Chic Noir

    LN turning their noses up at us, because they didn’t consider us a “real” news outlet.

    That’s a darn shame how some of us frown our noses up at our own. It shouldn’t matter how small it is, it belongs to us. If it weren’t for small blk papers, the Tavon Martin case would not have come so far.

    Well you know how some of our folks are, the other man’s ice is always colder.

  • Chic Noir

    Seriously, I think she spent almost an entire year performing in a leotard

    So does Misty Copeland. Is it the context that you have a problem with?

  • Kirsten West Savali

    Clearly, Misty Copeland is a ballerina that I have immense respect for — her talent leaves me inspired and often in awe.

    And there is no problem — I think it’s funny, and slightly sad, that Beyonce went from singing about the importance of girls respecting themselves and wearing clothes in “Nasty Girls” to contradicting herself numerous times in the course of performance. The message that I take from that is, keep your clothes on…unless someone’s paying to see your body. However, that too, is her right.

  • Kirsten West Savali

    Thank you very much, Sis! I had fun with this one, though I obviously offended Beyonce’s fans. :-)

  • QofNew


    For a lot of these women, their degrees is all they have. Too bad they are a dime a dozen these days.

  • Chic Noir

    Un Huh, I’m a Beyonce fan but I’ve had issue with a few of her songs. Solider was thug anthem, almost as bad as MC Lyte’s Ruffneck. I also didn’t care for her song Telephone that she did with Lady Gaga. That song is way to sexual for her primary audience.

    When compared to other pop singers, Beyonce is angel. Bey leaves the Riff Raff on stage. No phones of a drunk Beyonce, smoking weed on a bouncers head, no fist-fights, no baby daddy, no different man every week, etc…

  • Chic Noir

    *chic noir steps in salon clutch & takes a look around*

    Tables are upturned, broken glass liters the floor, afro poofs, weave and relaxed strands of hair are all over the floor.

    *chic noir looks across the room*

    BlackWomen&GirlsNeedLoveToo, honey you need to get out of here.

    Someone yells ” Hey that’s Chic Noir, another Bey stan get her*

    *chic noir ducks a mean upper cut from iQgraphics*
    *chic noir realizes she is outnumbered and takes to her heels*

  • Kirsten West Savali


    The article focuses on Beyonce because that is the framework of the “controversy.” If you think I’m “out to get her,” then you’re obviously not reading my points. I don’t care if Beyonce shakes her ass from here to Thailand, that’s what she does; but in my opinion, she does not deserve that award. Even then, she shouldn’t be blamed for it, because she didn’t ask for it.

    And yes, you’re definitely reading too much into it. Saying that Beyonce, who sells sex and beauty, is going to make little girls want to be journalists, is ridiculous. But that’s what the president of the NYABJ says and that’s why I made that point. Be real, no little girl is looking at Beyonce jumping off of yachts, vacationing in St. Tropez, etc. (then writing about it) and thinking, “Hey, I should be a journalist!” If they are, they need a reality check on how much writers make. If she were not Beyonce, that article wouldn’t have even made it to Essence. Call it “hate” if you like, I call it truth.

    As for the article being harsh, well, that’s your opinion. I don’t knock Beyonce for anything that she does, I don’t take her seriously enough to do so because pop is not my preferred genre. My point was just the opposite actually. She’s a a wife, mother, businesswoman, and like, love or “hate” her, she’s a Black woman doing her thing. (That’s actually in the article if you want to re-read.)

  • Kirsten West Savali

    @Chic Noire:

    “When compared to other pop singers, Beyonce is angel. Bey leaves the Riff Raff on stage. No phones of a drunk Beyonce, smoking weed on a bouncers head, no fist-fights, no baby daddy, no different man every week, etc…”

    100% agreed. Her life plan, career, husband, then family is admirable. I’m not one of those people who think a formal education is for everyone. She’s made her niche as a businesswoman with the tools at her disposal. I don’t particularly care for her style or her music, but I most def respect her hustle.

  • Kirsten West Savali

    @The Comment, @Todra, @KiaJD, @girlformerlyknownasgrace, @Kacey:

    Thank you all for reading and commenting! Very much appreciated. :-)


  • stellaxo

    @ Kirsten
    Because she is in a particular genre you don’t like, you don’t take her seriously?
    Secondly, I never, once, said you were “hating”
    And i DID read your article. Saying she is a mother, businesswoman, etc isn’t tantamount to saying “good things” about her; those are simply facts.

    Beyonce is not the framework of this article or your frustrations, so talking about her- what she does on stage, how much clothing she has on, frivolous details of her personal life are irrelevant to the question of ‘does she deserve this award’. The main focus should be what got her the award (her essay), the group that gave her the award (and perhaps their typical standards).
    If nothing, this award (from all of the controversy its stirred) will probably be more well known after this point. Whether that was a calculated move, idk.

  • Kirsten West Savali


    No, I don’t take her art seriously. It’s cookie-cutter and obvious — that’s my opinion. As a businesswoman, she’s phenomenal.

    “…Saying she is a mother, businesswoman, etc isn’t tantamount to saying “good things” about her; those are simply facts.”

    ^Yes, those are facts. Just as it is fact that she shakes her ass to sell records. Neither set of facts is necessarily needed to talk about the award, but why it is that you take issue with the ones that you don’t agree with? For anyone who wins an award, the professional background of the recipient is discussed.

    Beyonce is absolutely the framework of the “controversy.” I don’t have any frustrations with her. My point is that Beyonce does what she does, she didn’t ask for the award, so don’t get mad at her. The fact that some do not like how I characterize what she does, well, there’s nothing that I can do about that — nor do I want to.

    The main focus should be what got her the award (her essay), the group that gave her the award (and perhaps their typical standards).”

    ^Sounds like it would be a good article, you should write it and I mean that with all sincerity. However, this is my opinion on an issue that intersects pop-culture and scholarship and took over social media. It is not a researched, outlined article, nor one that requires an inverted pyramid. This topic doesn’t deserve that effort, not for me anyway.

    “If nothing, this award (from all of the controversy its stirred) will probably be more well known after this point. Whether that was a calculated move, idk.”

    ^ I definitely think that was the point.

  • Tameeka M.

    As a fellow journalist, I am glad to see you take on this controversial topic. I clearly touched more than a few nerves and provoked discussion. Good writing should do this, great writing could and should do more like… Inspire.

    My issue with Beyonce Essence magazine article is that it did none of that, imo. While cute and light it read more like a high school “what I did on my summer vacation” essay mixed with promo release for her new album release. The cover were a tie in deal for the album release which are that same time.

    Strong enough to garner an award, not to me. Still a great role model for women in the entertainment field, sure.

    To bad NABJ of NY doesn’t realize great women writers already exist as rolemodels in the field of journalism. Killing it in field every single issue at a time: shout-out to dream Hampton, Demetria Lucas, Danyel Smith, Karen Good Marable, Rebecca Walker, Penelope Turner, and Lola Ogunnaike.

    Who are my rolemodels in this field and inspire daily.

  • Tameeka M.

    Sorry for some of the bad typos, I clearly hate my new touchscreen only phone. Keyboard, I miss and love ya,LOL!

  • edub

    cough*Trya Banks*cough

  • African Mami

    Where have I been?!

    I was more surprised at the fact she can write!#intentional shade! YUUUUUP! LEGGGOOOOO

    Ms. Information-where you at mama, I c iQ is living it up!!

  • Kmoni

    Now that’s journalism–you go girl! Speak the truth as it won’t be done on any mainstream sites.


  • Pat


  • kYmberly

    Brilliant! This was a superb article. I disagree with you regarding Beyonce having any say in this mess. She could have asked that the award be placed in her name and given to a journalist. But, she is a selfish individual..who got on TV a couple of years ago and stated that the wanted to be a legend. Diana Ross, Lena Horne, and Tina Turner would have never let this happen, nor professed that they wanted to be legends–they already knew they were!

    I mean look at the words for the article…Eat, Play, Love…it sounds like a 5th grader–from jump. If you read the letter that she penned to First Lady Michelle Obama, Beyonce did not write the letter to her–she wrote it about her…read it again and if you do not understand the English language and grammar/tense then you need some schooling too. The singer addressed the First Lady as if they were homegirls for the world to see. I saw the Tweet that the First Lady sent back to Beyonce, and it was a small lesson that she gave the altered singer (hair, nails, toes,…everything did) in the English Language and it was brilliant. I mean she is a lawyer, so of course she would know how to write a sentence!

    And, I am a writer. I have to be edited. For Essence to come out and say that they don’t edit Toni Morrison, makes them look like azzholes. How could you even form a sentence with TM and B (who?). We all know Toni Morrison is one of the best, but she is not the best. I would go so far as to say that she even believes in being edited. Hell she worked at Random House for years as an editor. I am only 35 years young and dropping this history lesson at 1:18 AM > CST!

    *Hint! –I ain’t a hater. I just speak the truth. And, if you are a writer/journalist that is what we’re supposed to do.

  • Pat

    People, people, people we get it Beyonce is an “AWESOME ENTERTAINER” and she is. BUT she is no journalist. Her niche is entertainment, not journalism. She hasn’t paid her dues and one article(more like essay “In my opinion”) doesn’t cut it. I find it sad, that when its any topic pertaining to Beyonce no one can voice their opinion, “she’s off limits”. You either get attacked by the stans or your given the title of “The Hater”. Can’t we all agree to disagree. sheesh!

  • Pat

    “She could have asked that the award be placed in her name and given to a journalist.”

    Its funny because this came to mind when reading about her receiving this award. She could have saved face by giving back the award, citing she is not deserving. But like you said earlier she is greedy.

  • African Mami

    journalists are not truth tellers, they are truth benders!:)

  • Seriously?

    And people wonder why the future generation kids have no aspirations to be nothing more but a celebrity. You try one thing one time and you’re dub the title of the profession despite the quality of the material produce.
    Being a celebrity opens so many doors for you to do and try so many things! Why you can be a singer and try acting and decide WAIT i want to be a public figure and can go into Politics and won’t have to struggle like the average politician to get people to know you and what nots and then you can turn around and attend any university cause you can afford to do so and get a degree at a easier, quicker pace with no debts. I mean why try be anything else besides a household name? (That’s sarcasm)

    I am disappointed by this news but not at all shock and if people are saying this author is angry because Beyonce won the award she has every right too be for two reasons:

    1) Her profession is being insulted.
    Just because one can pick up a pen or can type does not mean they have the skill and the training one usually receives when they study this particular profession. How insulting too say anyone can become journalists and they are becoming obsolete. Ignorant just ignorant. As long as this skill can be perfected–they’re always room to become a stronger better writer– this skill should be respected and admire.


    2.) Because its her emotions!
    Does this really need to be explain?

  • The Comment

    Congrats! I saw that The Grio and The Root also ran the article. Yo go Girl! As they say…you know you did your job well when you have more dislikes than likes.

  • Ugh

    This is such a slap in the face of every hardworking black journalist, and on some level insulting to Beyonce. When you start giving the chick awards she very clearly doesnt deserve you diminish the shine on all the ones she really did earn. Man, NABJ can kick rocks.

  • Ugh

    Sorry, one more thing. It makes me so sad that stupid celebrity stunts is how Essence is getting awards these days. I remember when they had smart bomb ass writers way back when. #missingSusanLTaylor

  • hmmm

    If you had a historically notable ancestor (Joseph Broussard), a notable WHITE ancestor at that, perhaps they’d kiss your ass, too.

    Lena Horne was great…She actually had a knack for presentation and interpretation. Although, technically, she wasn’t the finest at either of her crafts, she was classy, well spoken, beautiful and thorough as a professional. She was also an activist and stood ground on something she very well had the option to leave alone and still succeed in her line of work (passing as). Horne adored throughout the nation; received many accolades in her life and death. But notice, she’s the posterity of notable white lineage (John C. Calhoun).

  • http://Mediamyxx,com Serika

    I am a huge Beyonce fan and could care less about her winning this award and to be quite frank I am sure she care less as well. I agree with your article as it pertains to other qualified journalist who deserve it but to be 100% real, journalism went out the door years ago. All you have to do is garner a following on a blog now and you can become a journalist by default and that is NOT the fault of Beyonce Knowles Carter. Your tone is petty and unnecessary. I do not know what it is about Beyonce that keeps black women writers claws out but it is becoming an unsavory factor. Also what does Beyonce’s diction have to do with writing. Speaking and writing are two different things, or did you lose sight of that going after the speck in her eye with the log in yours.

  • http://Mediamyxx,com Serika

    I hope she wins a Pultzer now just to piss you scribes off some more

  • DTay

    Hahaha. You Beyonce stans make me smile with that whole Protect the Queen mentality. Beyonce’s cool. She’s talented. She seems nice. But now in my head she will forever be known as just another celeb who got something she doesn’t deserve. Wonder if she wants to pass that lesson on to Blue Ivy.

  • QueenOfCastle


    “Just because one can pick up a pen or can type does not mean they have the skill and the training one usually receives when they study this particular profession. How insulting too say anyone can become journalists and they are becoming obsolete. Ignorant just ignorant. As long as this skill can be perfected–they’re always room to become a stronger better writer– this skill should be respected and admire.”

    How soon we forget our history. Blacks have historically been shut out of officially recognized institutions. We have had to be self taught in academia, we had to teach ourselves how to read, we had to teach ourselves instruments, how to dance, how to paint and sketch, how to write etc. Who taught blacks how to rap? What university did we go to? Who taught us graffiti art? What degrees did we need for that?

    So now you talented 10th Negros want to come around and flash your degreeeezzzz in our faces like that makes you some God? Girl sit down.

    We dont need a cadre of self appointed Negros giving us their blessings. Im not here to debate the merits of the award given to Beyonce but I am very disgusted about how you are looking down on others because they werent churned out by some second rate university with a few alphabets behind their name.

    And yes, journalist are becoming obsolete. With the internet there is so much access to so much information youre not exactly needed during a time when few people had T.V or radios or were illterate.

  • Open heart

    I think that whack ass letter to Michelle Obama should tell you all you need to know about her “journalism” skills. It reads like a classic 6th grader’s love letter which exactly the last year her formal education stopped. I agree she can have the emotion and passion to write but she ain’t no journalist. Her ghost writer should receive the award. Bey can get an honorary award or something but don’t diminish the folks that have worked hard in their field.

  • Khallid Shabazz

    You knocked this one out of the park. Good stuff! Continue to stay true and honest in your craft.

  • Jenn


    I got your article completely & I thoroughly enjoyed it! I have a cousin with a BA from Morehouse and a MA from Columbia who is striving to make it as a journalist. From the stories he’s told me, I can appreciate & understand the hard work and dedication that it takes to make it in the journalism profession.

    Beyonce is a beautiful woman & extremely talented performer.But, IMHO, she is not a journalist by any stretch of the imagination. I agree with you that her Essence article is not deserving of a journalism award. I also agree that she is not to blame. Rather, the NYABJ is to blame, as it seems they are simply kissing her arse because of her celebrity.

  • Beeasy

    @QueenofCastle– Re: that last part about journalists becoming obsolete. It’s always interesting when people say that, considering that most of these bloggers who are supposed to be bringing an end to traditional journalism rely heavily on or outright repackage stories from the New York Times or Washington Post or insert-other-major-news-outlet-here. The other half simply gets shit all kinds of wrong.

    Anyhow, many of us, especially those of us in NYC who just lost our beloved KISS FM, which had a bunch of great on-air journalists in addition to deejays, understand how important it is to support black media outlets and black journalists. We lost one more opportunity to do that by giving an award to Beyonce. It’s so stupid, I don’t see how anyone can defend it.

  • journeyjournalist

    I love the conversation and everyone is entitled to their opinion, that’s what freedom of speech is all about.

    I agree with Kirsten about NABJ – by giving that award to a celebrity who allegedly wrote one article about her self-imposed nine-month exile (which she already talked about taking before this article was published) is sending a message that once again, it’s better to aspire to be a celebrity than to do anything else.

    It says that a celebrity can easily have the access to submit an article to a national, mainstream black publication and if even slightly decent, will be quickly put into a category to receive an award that professiional journalist spend years working to become good enough to qualify for.

    Again, in my opinion and in accord with Kirsten, it says that the only apiration young people should have is to be able to obtain celebrity, and by doing that all doors will open to them (and in these times, maybe that’s the only door left, so as I am writing this, maybe not a bad thing:))

    It says that magazines these days can only remain relevant if they choose to promote celebrities over other talented artists.

    I’m not without my judgemental stake in this. I know what it’s like to watch editors that I’ve submitted ideas to say they don’t have time to consider my queries, while they are online at that moment tweeting about hanging out with rappers. I’ve worked on staff at a tabloid, dripping in celebrity gossip and innuendo.

    I also worked for and at regular publications and know what it’s like to keep trying even into middle age to become better at what I try to do.

    I am a Beyonce fan. She’s pretty, talented and seems like a fun person. I enjoy her music and acting.

    I have not read the article she did. It might be good but I question the quickness that her celebrity gave her to be able to even have it published, let alone nominated for an award that is supposed to come from due diligence and talent in another field.

    What does it say to kids – don’t work hard, work hard to become a celebrity.
    To journalists – become a singer, actor and then a celebrity. You can be a journalist.

    Journalists are not getting VH1 or MTV awards the very first time they try their hand at songwriting.

    In truth, celebs have been penning columns, commentating, becoming hosts on TV shows, etc. for years but each new easily acquired position and accolade just makes it harder on people who have dedicated their lives to some aspect of journalism.

  • Deena Jones’ wig

    “It’s not that Queen Bey makes a living gyrating and writhing around the globe, nor even that I would stand before a jury and sweet, fictitious 8-pound baby Jesus and claim beyond a reasonable doubt that she hired a ghostwriter. (Shout-out to the ghostwriter; you did your thing!)”

    Gyrating and writhing? really sis? Beyonce CAN sing and she sings like the best of them. I get your point but you contradict yourself and attempting to subtly shade process in the process. Something about Beyonce makes black women so angry. I love it.


    Mad? I know.

  • Whatever


    I totally agree with you. I don’t think that most of these people even read the entire article. The NYABJ was dead wrong for even considering using that piece (which was pure fluff and could have been written by an 8 year old). I don’t know what their intention was, but it actually makes them lose credibility.

  • Beeasy

    You nailed it on the head. Beyonce CAN sing. Beyonce CAN’T write. Why not give her awards that are aligned with her actual talent instead of pretending she has skills she doesn’t have?

  • C

    *Something about Beyonce makes Black women so angry.I love it*

    Its her dont give a damn, Ill wear what I want, dance how I want, have the hair and hair color I want, and happy, successful and slaying itches left an right attitude that makes them mad, and I love it too. GO BEY!!!!

  • C


    What Black American doesnt. Ella Fitzgerald is a legend and is still adored by many, especially White people. I wonder if they thought they shouldnt have adored her because her white ancestry was more hidden. GET A LIFE!

  • Seriously?


    Why you mad,You don’t have a degree?
    Because you’re just harboring and just relishing all these things and finding stuff that’s not in my writing at all. I’m an advocate for doing and having something -you don’t need to go college but you need to have some sort of paper that says “I am skilled in ___”
    Not everyone can be a Bill Gates, they need to say I am a professional in my field in some sort of way.
    But I digress, why do I have to even say such a thing? OH Because you somehow found in my comment a person with a degree should look down on those who don’t. You’re reading too much into what I wrote. It’s like you’re searching through out this comment section to find something to argue on.

    Taking courses/classes to hones the skill you need to become stronger in what you’re studying, is not saying I’m better and IF that wasn’t the case we wouldn’t even need Primary schools, universities etc. So YEAH when you go and get a degree in particular to say I have dedicated “__ hours” in trying to perfect this skill it DOES looks good –Do you need to go to class to do this? Can you dedicate your own personal hours and self study SURE!!!
    By why the fudge that needs to be mention? Shouldn’t that be self-explanatory?
    No one formula fits everyone. Does that need to be a disclaimer before I write anything?

    And a lot of what you read online, even some blogs and gossip sites — big journalist companies have move online and it’s still JOURNALIST making the news only now they have a new avenue to reach the masses. People still goes to these companies online because they have been around since the good ol’ age of newspapers and radio–establish a reputation –aka people TRUSTS these sources. So yeah, journalist will not become obsolete, because even now anyone can write anything but how many people is going to put complete trust in the information? Either way trusted journalist sites still trumps whatever people that won’t read them.

    So Calm down, I’m not saying a person with a degree is a “proper negro”
    I’m saying, those who have dedicated hours in writing and trying to be known and acknowledge in their field shouldn’t be overlook for a one time writer with a nice story.

  • QofNew


    I have two degrees. My experiences have made me very disillusioned with the whole education industry. Did you know that student debt has reached one trillion dollars, the repercussions of which can be as devastating as the housing crisis?

    I don’t like when the e-du-ma-cated start tooting their horn.

    Lets also not forget that its other journalist and the media companies who are selling out the little guy in the industry not Beyonce. That is what this article should have emphasised not the length of Beyonce’s skirt while on stage.

  • QofNew


    “We lost one more opportunity to do that by giving an award to Beyonce. ”

    Really? You’ve got to explain that to me. Im being honest.

  • QofNew

    @Deena Jones’ wig

    Seriously, its scary how much anxiety Beyonce provokes in some people especially black women. Its sad. Take away her stardom and she is a regular woman like so many other women in America but her normalcy makes too many black women uncomfortable. Maybe if she were a mental maniac like Lauryn Hill or like Erykah “Aint never met a rapper I didn’t want to have a baby by” Badu or Fantasia, would they feel more comfortable with her. No disrespect to the aforementioned artists. I enjoy their music.

    I wouldn’t buy an album by Beyonce or go to a concert and the number of songs I have illegally downloaded by her I can count on one hand that is missing a finger. I love her for reasons that are unrelated to her career.

  • sarah

    Beyonce brings out the insecurity in black women
    The more people try to tear her down , the more good that will happen to her.
    Negative energy is not good , focus on what your doing and not beyonce.
    She didn’t ask for the award.
    Rather than crying and being a bitter black woman go work on your craft and maybe one day you will be recognised.
    Beyonce is the cause for everything with black women.
    Always angry

  • Reading is Fundamental

    I’ve never laughed so hard at anything on this site until now, after reading your comment.


    I am very concerned about the state of journalism theses days. I am referring to all of the mediums: print, television, radio, social media, etc.

    The perfect example of journalism gone awry is when TV Networks hire the children of ex-presidents, who were not educated or trained in that field, yet get selected over thousands of qualified individuals I suppose to generate high ratings. But then also, like alot of a million Americans, the owners of media are also obsessed with celebrity.

  • Stella

    You could have made your point without insulting Beyonce.

    Your condescending tone was/is a turn off. If you want to win an award for your journalism, may I suggest you tighten up on your skills, as you have several grammatical errors in this piece.

    You are just way too mad at Beyonce, not a good look. Otherwise your article raised some very valid points. Thank you.

  • Janelle

    I’m a journalist and blogger, and I swear folks crack me up with their comments. People really go for the jugular, like internet gangsters. One thing is for darn sure. There are three things you can’t talk about without controversy: race, religion and Beyonce. Dang. Some of y’all are downright scary in your fanaticism.

    I agree that it’s a real up-yours to writers and journalists who really invest in the craft so they can write news and stories that inform and empower readers. There are many categories for the Grammys that allow different kinds of people to win different kinds of awards, so ain’t no random non-professional encroaching on Beyonce’s territory. Now if this was the “Best Writing by a Pop Singer and Non-professional Journalist” celebrity category, then cool.

    But hey, whatever. It’s one year, one award and it’s another win for the B machine. That doesn’t make this writer a hater. It makes her a truth-teller but c’est le vie (unless this becomes a trend and they start handing out random awards in every profession). 

  • hmmm

    So, because you disagree with my opinion I need to get a life versus everyone else who voiced theirs?

    You get a life.

    Ella Fitzgerald was adored, but who got paid the most? Who had the most social ‘power’?

  • Renea

    I hate to say it, but I agree with Stella. As a matter of fact, your point could have more effectively been made without insulting Beyonce. Instead, you took a little of the power from the point you were making by allowing yourself to look like a hater. She did not deserve that award, I get it… but was all that necessary?

  • sd

    “But then again – since the NYAJB has garnered more media exposure over this decision than, well, ever – maybe encouraging young people was never really the point…was it?”

  • Dee

    I LOVE THIS ARTICLE!!! The fans/family members/paid ass kissers in here capping for Beyonce makes no sense at all!

    There is no defending this garbage, point blank, period! And the fact that Beyonce’s vain ass will accept it shows the type of person she really is!

    I don’t like her and I don’t need a disclaimer to say it!

  • Robbie

    That is why, I turned my back on Essence. I cannot with this magazine. They keep on rubing me the wrong way.

  • C

    Yes! Who? to both questions. I put it to you@hmmm…..because Ella Fitzgerald still sells.

    I said GET A LIFE, because you are subtly attacking Beyonce for something she has no control over- how she looks; who her parents are and what her ancestry is. Beyonce is innocent, as is everyone else, because she did not get a choice of who her parents are and how she got here.

    So, yes, get over it and get a life!.

  • C

    Should be…Ella Fitzgerald still sells and what kind of social power are you talking about-sexual, racial,financial,etc.

  • C is a drag queen

    C, stop getting upset over people’s posting! Just because you are a known “Drag Queen” you shouldn’t allow people’s posting to pist you off to the post you can’t strap it on!

    Now take a deep breath and “STRAP IT ON!

  • curtwill


    Actually Bey has many awards for that(Why not give her awards that are aligned with her actual talent instead of pretending she has skills she doesn’t have?) but many don’t think she deserves that either.

    Many people seethe when Bey wins anything and gets accolades for anything and the author of the article isn’t any different. I don’t think Obama is a good president(for example) but it’s not the end of the world that he has the office. People are too passionate for the wrong things, especially Concerning Blue Ivy’s mother.

  • curtwill

    Precisely…..and just as these bloggers can criticize the validity of Bey’s article winning this award, we can criticize the quality of this article in a constructive way. BTW, what great journalism is out there that actually deserves to win anything, really? Today’s journalism sucks. It’s trashy, sensationalistic and slanderous. Maybe Bey winning an award like this will wake this so called journalists and bloggers up so that they can step up their game.

  • C


    That was kind of f………..Nah, it was lame and dumb

    Thanks for playing.

  • jusquestion

    why, exactly, do people dislike beyonce? she is not the first black woman (and, yes, contrary to what some may think or even publicists/advertisers might try to promote creole is black) to find success in the entertainment industry. she has been in the game for a long time. she has worked very hard. unwarranted accolades, some say about beyonce? how many unwarranted accolades have both white and black entertainers received? the game is rigged. those with the most powerful and connected agents often gain access to the very best that Hollywood has to offer. this, however, does not, nor should not diminish the work and talent that any individual entertainer possesses regardless of and in spite of the fact that other (perhaps even more) talented people exist. i am sick of the beyonce trashing. i am becoming increasingly convinced that this is a media ploy to keep people talking about her.

    leave beyonce alone. let her live. and then, go get and make you own life.

  • JC

    Everyone needs to seriously fall back if they don’t see what the problem is with honoring her for just writing a personal letter and publishing it for the world to see when it could’ve of been private but just like the news of her pregnancy and then hide and seek show she did then the call for privacy is all a sham I’m afraid this too is a sham.

    1.) This is a slap in the face for any hardworking journalist or anyone aspiring to be.

    2.) While she didn’t ask for it she could’ve humbly ask to give it to someone else knowing darn well she didn’t deserve it.

    3.) What kind of example outside of our families is this showing. Honestly, she has a great a career but on whose back?

    4.) If we’re to consider this a success I fear it’s not just the youth of today and tomorrow that’s fooled but the leaders of today.

  • Notorious Spinks

    Looks around….. Though I was the only one who felt like this award was LOL funny!

  • Kenya

    Black women’s obsession with Beyonce just magnifies the terrible state our self-esteem is in. Women, of all races, suffer from low self-esteem but there was a time, not too long ago, when Black women were proud of their dark skin, nappy hair, afros, curves, etc. This generation of Black women have backpeddled because role models and role examples have lost value.

    I don’t get the fascination with Beyonce. I don’t like her nor her cheesy, terrible music. But what I can’t stand is her fans. Her fans make me sick to the stomach. Young black women need to stop celebrating famous chickenheads like Beyonce, Nicki Minaj, Rihanna, Kelly Rowland and Keri Hilson and look more intelligent Black female role models like Desiree Rogers, Michelle Obama or if you have a good woman in your family–CELEBRATE HER!

  • Bee

    “Black women’s obsession with Beyonce just magnifies the terrible state our self-esteem is in.” Absolutely, 100% agree!

  • Yb

    Your low self esteem is quite apparent seeing how you felt the need to insult her work and refer to her as a “chickenhead”. Maybe that’s why black women supposedly have low self esteem, because women like you putting us down.

    What’s hilarious is that you actually thought your comment was uplifting and held worthy advice. Tsk

    And please Kenya, cut it out with the us, we, all mess. You DO NOT speak for all black women. The supposed “black women obsession with beyonce” is something you conjured up in your head.

    Oh and P.S. there is one side of the black community that celebrates the features you mentioned with more enthusiam and pride then the other. Im sure it’s not to hard to figure which side that is.

  • KC

    Pentress is not a word.

  • Pingback: Beyonce Wins NYABL Journalism Award But Will She Appear To Accept? | Parlour Magazine

  • Mr Jay

    I’m not mad at her, she’s a lovely woman and person.

  • art nouveua

    I once wrote an open letter to Beyonce, If you are going to hate, be upfront.

    But what is up with these people making everything meaningless like that?

  • Sue

    Then the article should be about the bestowing organization without taking cheap shots at a legitimately successful entertainer. Sour grapes make great ‘whine.’

  • Sue


  • Sheress

    It’s not a big deal if you ask me. I think it’s great we can express our opinions If someone says your a hater that’s ok it’s an opinion. We need to respect those freedoms because ond day soon we will lose all freedoms as the world is changing in that direction. I love discussions and threads lets just respect one another

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