Remember those pictures of Beyonce’s backup dancers channelling the Black Panthers and holding up a sign that read, “Justice 4 Mario Woods”? Yeah, that wasn’t planned by Bey all. The ladies coordinated with Black Lives Matter activities to bring awareness to the shooting death 26-year-old black man, Mario Woods, at the hands of several San Francisco police officers.
Rheema Calloway and Ronnishia Johnson, who won tickets to the Super Bowl, orchestrated the whole thing without knowing Bey was going to get in Black Panther formation for her performance.
Via The Daily Mail:
Daily Mail Online has traced the two women who were behind the political storm and can disclose they seized their moment after winning tickets to Beyoncé’s half time show through a local radio station competition.
Rheema Calloway and Ronnishia Johnson, both 25, sneaked in their posters supporting calls for murder charges against five police officers by hiding them in their bras and panties to evade security guards at the sports complex in Santa Clara.
They had made several copies of the poster hoping that at least once would make it into the stadium and they might be able to be seen on television.
After being bussed to the stadium, they were patted down by security guards at the gates and were surprised when officials did not confiscate the 12 posters from their bags and clothing.
We did not know Beyoncé was going to have a Black Panther theme to her performance even though she had dropped the Formation video the day before which has a lot of black culture references.’
Ronnishia added: ‘When we saw the dancers in their outfits and black berets we were like ‘Yes Yes!’
‘That was confirmation that we needed to do what we came to do there.’
‘After the half time show we were rushed off and our group was headed in another direction. I said to Rheema we had to go and we started running after the dancers. There were a couple of dancers walking out with their fists up so I tapped one of them and asked her initially if she would be willing to take a photo and she said yes. As we were taking a photo I asked he if she had heard about the case of Mario Woods. Other dancers came around us and from the expressions on their faces it seemed as if they had already heard about Mario’s case and were empathetic.They agreed to hold the sign and say “Justice for Mario Woods” and we filmed it on my iPhone.’
‘We don’t know who the dancers were, but we hope that Beyoncé doesn’t have a backlash against them for what they did. Beyoncé was rushed off the stage immediately and she knew nothing about we did.’
Some folks are about as pressed as a Sunday suit over Beyonce’s performance and the pictures, and they can stay mad. An autopsy done on Mario Woods revealed he was shot more than 20 times by as many as five officers who “feared serious injury or death.”