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Political Performance: It Didn't Start with Kendrick Lamar and Beyoncé

March 8, 2016

Sara Warner is an Associate Professor at Cornell University, a Public Voices Fellow of The OpEd Project and the author of Acts of Gaiety. This article originally appeared on Huffington Post.

In thrilling spectacles of political performance, Kendrick Lamar and Beyoncé showed solidarity with the #BlackLivesMatter movement and the Black Panther Party for Self Defense before audiences of millions at the Grammy awards and the Super Bowl. But how many of those millions realized that these two brilliantly orchestrated displays of militant artistry exemplify a form of protest first staged by Sixties radicals: the zap action?

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Kendrick Lamar