The lyrics of Beyonce’s new song “Formation” tell a story of black women’s empowerment and the artist’s own personal origin story. The imagery in the music video reflects that theme, but also references Hurricane Katrina, the Black Lives Matter movement, and the tense state of relations between the police and African Americans in this country. Here with their takes on the song and the video’s provocative imagery are two people who wrote about Formation after it was released the of day Beyonce’s performance at the Superbowl. Kyra Kyles is Vice President, Head of Digital for Johnson Publishing Company here in Chicago. And Kate Forristall is a freelance journalist.