BLACK IS KING is Blasphemous and Demonic
By Jessilyn Lancaster, Managing Editor
Beyonce’s visual album BLACK IS KING, on Disney+ is a deeply confusing assault of images that simultaneously promote Christianity and a slew of other false religions, including the Yoruba/Santeria religion and pagan/occult elements.
Though the project is not a movie, it runs the length of a feature film and very roughly parallels THE LION KING plot with some quotes and songs from the 2019 movie. The album somewhat follows a little boy as he grows up to become king. Beyonce and many of her famous friends, including Jay-Z, Kelly Rowland, Lupita N’yongo, Pharrell Williams, and Donald Glover, sing and dance through the album, displaying incredible talent while incorporating strange sequences.
Overall, the production value is stellar, which will enchant viewers and the cameos by popular Black performers provide an excellent level of engagement for both the eyes and the ears. However, BLACK IS KING is an overwhelming and confusing experience that clearly blurs the lines between worldviews, luring viewers to let their guards down by plying them with Christian images and icons but then including other occult elements.
For example, the album opens with a basket floating down the river, reminiscent of the story of Moses in Exodus. While the basket is floating, images of African people are shown as Beyonce talks about the roots of life. This scene contains strong Christian imagery, including some baby baptisms. Some of the dialogue is actually incredibly pro-life, celebrates the birth of children, and discusses how important families are. However, the song then follows Beyonce as she kneels before false religious leaders swinging incense.
This is just the beginning of the production incorporating false African religions, primarily the Yoruba and Santeria religions, both of which incorporate Christian imagery and icons with witchcraft:
Santería is polytheistic, involving the veneration of deities known as orisha. These are often identified both as Yoruba gods as well as Roman Catholic saints. Various myths are told about these orisha, which are regarded as subservient to a transcendent creator deity, Olodumare. Each individual is believed to have a specific orisha who has been connected to them since before birth and who informs their personality. Santería’s members usually meet in the homes of santeros or santeras to venerate specific orisha at altars set up for that purpose. A central ritual is the toque de santo, in which practitioners drum, sing, and dance to encourage an orisha to possess one of their members. They believe that through this possessed individual, they can communicate directly with an orisha. Offerings to the orisha include fruit and the blood of sacrificed animals, usually birds. Offerings are also given to the spirits of the dead, especially those of ancestors, with some practitioners identifying as spirit mediums. Several forms of divination are utilized, including Ifá, to decipher messages from the orisha. Healing rituals and the preparation of herbal remedies, amulets, and charms, also play a prominent role. Santería uses the Lucumí language, which is derived from Yoruba, for ritual purposes.
Beyonce literally references the Yoruba and Santeria religion’s emphasis on ancestor worship saying, “Orishas hold your hand through this journey.” In one of the final sequences, Beyonce is seen gyrating under a tree while wearing a mask of shells. Shells are often used in Yoruba/Santeria rituals.
A significant amount of the production’s singing and dancing is hard to discern. It could be directly related to African culture or could be indicative of false religions. Many of the numbers feature upper male nudity, scantily clad women, drinking, and some violence in hand-to-hand combat, as well as scary scenes.
Furthermore, there are multiple lines of narration that blaspheme the Lord.
At one point, the narrator says, “I can’t believe in God and call myself a child of God and not see myself as a god. That wouldn’t make any sense … I am creator of all things.”
One line in one of the songs rips off scripture to say, “See how the sun and moon bow for you,” but instead of being in reference to Christ, they are in reference to a human king.
Though these are the obvious cautions in BLACK IS KING, there are other subtle sequences and images that could distress viewers.
In multiple songs, Beyonce and her dancers don cattle horns and cow skulls, which could have a direct parallel to witchcraft and animal sacrifice.
In another sequence, a motorcycle gang chases a young boy into an open warehouse where he is approached by a man who has a boa constrictor wrapped around his upper body. In this same sequence, some people have crosses as part of their wardrobe, but these crosses provide no sense of peace or comfort. The snake is very menacing, and the boy is clearly confused and afraid.
Then motorcycles with bright red horns that appear satanic burst into the warehouse and chase the boy into the woods. The sequence has multiple elements of the occult, with a woman writhing and her eyes rolling back in her head while she sings. It almost looks like the people chasing the boy are demonic and attempting to sacrifice him. Ultimately, the boy’s father sacrifices himself to save his son.
The narrator says, “No true king ever dies. Ancestors hold us within our own bodies.”
As the boy escapes the motorcycle gang, he’s in a car with a creepy man who clicks his rings together. As the rings click, a man covered in bloody straw climbs on the car and harasses the boy. Some of the lyrics during this sequence reference fighting demons.
The boy is suddenly grown, and he visits an elderly witch doctor who raises her hands and the man levitates to the sky where he has a vision of being united with his father. This refers back to the earlier ancestor worship and ancestors serving as spirit guides today.
Each of these songs and sequences contains lyrics, dance moves and images that are trying to combine both Christianity and the false African religions.
The show is visually stunning, and the all-star musical line-up provides a thoroughly engaging product. However, this does not negate the major overarching worldview issues that will lead children and families to enjoy demonic rituals associated with false religions presented in BLACK IS KING.
Overall, Movieguide® does not recommend BLACK IS KING for any discerning viewers.
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