Saturday, April 30, 2016

Why Beyonce's Lemonade is Everything



Image result for beyonce formation

G.O.A.T!  ANYTHING Beyonce releases will get major news attention. Especially when that album includes a one hour long video and dialogue that is apologetically Black, and displays tons of Black girl magic.

So it is only obvious that girls everywhere are celebrating that the Queen of Pop newest musical masterpiece released Lemonade, the visual album. So, despite the fact that the entire album was about strange stages of grief regarding a cheating husband, women everywhere felt like Lemonade was really a homage to the Black woman, and rightfully so.

Her video includes the mothers of the victims of the #BlackLivesMatter movement and Beyonce exclaiming that she "she likes her baby's hair with baby hair and afros", when her daughter has been in the spotlight since newborn days for her textured hair. Beyonce's Lemonade one hour special included women of all shapes, sizes, skin colors (African/ African American women), and it was beautiful. However, Beyonce's unapologetic Blackness seemed to offend the nation for no other reason, then that she made a remark in her song stating, "Becky with the good hair,". (haven't watched it yet, watch it here!)


Beyonce's been offending the nation since she performed at this year's SuperBowl. When Beyonce debuted her song Formation with an all Black dancing cast, exclamations of Black power, and sexy militant attire similar to a mix between the Black Panthers, Janet Jackson, and the usual Beyonce leotard, Sheriff Robert Arnold proclaimed that Beyonce was "inciting bad behavior", "endangering law enforcement", and dubbed it anti-police. The police officer remarked, “With everything that happened since the Super Bowl… that’s what I’m thinking: Here’s another target on law enforcement" It is puzzling how in the day and age, how political the Black identity is.

In Lemonade, Beyonce features quotes from Malcolm X, homage to the Black mother, and skepticism and adoration for the Black man. The location is in the swamps of the South, and alternates between both that and the ghettos in the South. There are scenes of African American culture, such as a marching band dancing through the ghettos, the mothers of those killed by police brutality holding pictures of their sons to the camera, remarks that we raise up the future generation through love. There are also scenes of Black women, in slave- like, older Southern attire working and cooking in the kitchen. By now, hopefully you have received my point; the video did not include nuances of deep Black culture, it was slathered in it, and Black social media went crazy!


 Couple of tweets to display a little bit of the appreciation surrounding Lemonade.

And of course, with mass support, there is mainstream opposition and misunderstanding!

 And here's the best response possible as to why it does not matter what Piers Morgan thinks......
And some more opposition from our favorite girl....

Yes Iggy, generalizations are bad, but if being called Becky is the worst of what you have to deal with, consider yourself privileged. -Sincerely, a Black female.
 Yes, because White privilege must be so hard.

As an African American female, I too was blessed by the Black girl magic of Lemonade. While I cannot relate to being angry because of a cheating husband, I can resonate with the images depicted in the video: Beyonce in cornrows and other Black women in their natural hair, the violence that has taken the lives of young men in my community, the sacred relationships of mother and father, and the statements she made in her Formation video and throughout Lemonade. The very fact that Beyonce displaying Blackness is considered racially charged and to make a political statement shows the necessity of the video to be made in the first place. We have not overcome the mentality that Blackness is other.  Why else would it make us uncomfortable that Beyonce is unapologetically displaying African American culture and pride.

For some odd reason, it is not as welcoming or comfortable for the Black girl to feel empowered, so certain individuals turn to playing the victim in order to get attention. Instead, others focused on the like "Becky with the good hair," as a statement against White girls, rather than recognizing it as a statement that has a historical cultural meaning in which the hair of White women is rendered beautiful in comparison to Black hair. One in which Beyonce counteracted continuously in the video by showing African American hair, untamed by social constructions of beauty, with Afros. And who is to even say that Becky was White in the first place, as Beyonce sure did not specify in her music.

Without saying a word, Beyonce has managed to provide a sense of pride and resonance for Black women everywhere, and start a critical conversation among Whites. She gracefully showed how taboo it is to be mainstream and unrepentantly Black. There aren't enough instances in our society that gives us that.

"Being a black woman is both empowering and painful, and the more art that aims to tackle the truth of our existence, as the greats — Ms. Hill, Nina Simone, India Arie — have done, the more empowered we’ll be."


3 comments:

  1. Beyonce is often criticised for her role as a female and as a black female in the media. This year so far has had two major examples of this, as you covered: her Super Bowl performance and her Lemonade album. The idea of blackness being shown at the forefront of an artistic statement and that making something “racially charged” -- it is so strange that we are having this discussion in 2016. Blackness is something we have all not experienced, but it something we can have look into through methods like Beyonce’s artistry in her Lemonade album. Complex narratives like these are important for our current media environment.

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  2. Glad you posted on this event. Queen B's album hit a lot of big topics and it's responses should not go unchallenged.

    Being someone who could never empathize with the experience of black women, I still found Piers Morgan's response to the album ignorant and borderline appalling. However, I do sincerely question if Beyonce's messages about infidelity and blackness could perhaps have been done more justice if they weren't intertwined. I don't question that B's points weren't legitimate, but I wonder if separating the two would allow people like Pierce to be more receptive and understanding of the message.

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  3. I'm so glad that you posted about this album dropping. As a white female, there are elements of this that are relatable to me, and elements that aren't. But that doesn't mean that I don't care of love it or appreciate it, just because (as that rebuttal to Piers Morgan says): it wasn't made for me. I love Bey's sass and her ability to transparent about her struggles and hardships. She has a gigantic platform, and it would be a shame if she didn't stand up on that platform and say something of importance, which she does - everytime.

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