From the title, if you’ve been paying attention to what’s been going on in the month of April, you probably know what this post is going to be about…it’s Beyoncé guys.
Lem • on • ade
” a drink made from lemon juice and sweetened water”
… as well as one of the greatest albums I’ve ever watched and listened to in my twenty-two years of life.
As a black woman having an artist in my time period that is embracing her blackness and exposing her pain to her audience is a big deal for me. I wasn’t able to grow up in the era with the ‘Eartha Kit’s” or the ‘Nina Simone’s’ so having Beyoncé show up and in a sense say “fuck all this prissy celebrity shit, I’m still a black woman and this is important,” technically she said it is a “conceptual project based on every woman’s journey of self-knowledge and healing,” but I digress, Lemonade makes me feel as if I can kick some ass, cry out, protest, and join in a line dance at the country club all at the same time.
We (as in my figurative cousins, brothers, and sisters that are strewn across the world wide web that I’ve never met) found ourselves signing up for free trials to ‘Tidal’ and ‘HBO’ and tuning into something magical. And that’s what it is, with the backdrop being a marriage on the rocks, mothers grappling with a loss many of us viewed on prime time television, black southern Gothic life, the greatest tennis player Serena Williams (fight me if you think differently) giving me all of my life in a hand gesture and dip, and black hairstyles galore, we knew we were in for something that black women have been saying for centuries and Bey was able to bring some of that to the limelight where some angry white people were able to see it too.
We’re also invited to be a part (of the small glimpses) of her life. We’re able to take our off our rings from ‘Single Ladies’ and relate to a woman in pain. Infidelity. Denial. Anger. Apathy. Emptiness. Accountability. Reformation. Forgiveness. Resurrection. Hope. Redemption. And find a common ground to connect with our sisters on feeling broken.
Around the 7th song (Sandcastles) I began to feel a lump in the back of my throat and salt on the edges of my lips. The beauty and rawness of what Beyoncé and her team created made me, more than ever, feel so proud to be a black woman; with it being presented to mainstream media, showing different forms of blackness, from the youngest of black queens like Quvenzhané Wallis and Blue Ivy, to the eldest, Mrs. Hattie White and countless others in hopes of showing black women and girls that have been put down and that refuse to go down, or stay down without speaking up and sharing their stories.
With Malcolm X’s voice telling so many other people how black women feel and have been treated for years was necessary, to ‘Yoncé strutting across the pavement with Hot Sauce in hand and fucking everything up in sight.
I’m talking blackness being uncovered and shoved down the throats of everyone who tries to suppress it, hide from it, look the other way when they see it walking down the street. Here it is in your face, in all its agony, its pain, its ugly, its beauty. Here I Am. BLACK BLACK BLACK BLACK BLACK BLACK AS HELL and deserving of greatness with all of our Badass-ness right at our sides.
In all, what I’m trying to say about this album is it’s amazing, with it’s cinematic beauty and the topics she discusses throughout it. I’m proud of what’s happening with strong black women discussing their issues and using their platforms, the very place they were put down solely for being black, they rise and scream in the face of the bigots, racists, misogynists, and naysayers and stand even taller than before.
May she be an artist, dancer, poet, blogger, scientist, engineer, comedian, whatever it is that you do, young black girl old black girl use your words in any way you can and tell your story, don’t look back and don’t apologize to anyone who gets their feelings hurt.
“I ain’t sorry.”