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On Saturday Beyoncé adored the apple with Lemonade, her awful advancing sixth collapsed album. The songstress premiered the activity as an hour-long HBO appropriate in the anatomy of a beheld album. Naturally, during and afterwards the premiere, the internet was abuzz with babble about Jay-Z’s doubtable infidelity, Bey’s badassery, and “Becky with the acceptable hair” (whoever she may be).
But the beheld anthology goes far above cheating husbands and abstruseness women with acceptable beard (more on that byword here). With its abounding cultural references, accurate detail, addictive poetry, claimed stories, and use of Southern Gothic aesthetic, Lemonade is an aboveboard claimed announcement of Bey’s ancestors history, multigenerational African-American issues, Black feminism, and an all-around embrace of Black culture.
So, yes, it’s a masterpiece. And, at its root, it’s not about celebrity account or adultery — Beyoncé’s Lemonade is an ode to Black women. This ode, abounding with bright visuals, amazing outfits, and relatable themes, was, well, magical.
“Black Girl Magic,” coined by CaShawn Thompson, is a appellation acclimated to allegorize the accepted phenomenal, resilient, dope, lit, and slay-filled attributes of the Black woman. It represents a ability of women who persevere in the face of adversity. With that, actuality are six moments of authentic Black Girl Magic in Beyoncé’s Lemonade.
From those dressed in accoutrements affiliated to that of the aboriginal 19th century, featured in “Pray You Catch Me,” to those apparent cuddling up to their cogent others in “All Night,” Black women and girls are advanced and centermost throughout the beheld masterpiece.
The activity saw a twerking Serena Williams in a anatomy suit, and added acclaimed faces like archetypal Winnie Harlow, Zendaya, Amandla Stenberg, Quvenzhané Wallis, and singing duo Chloe and Halle. Alongside the acclaimed Black women in the project, though, stood accustomed women of blush one would see walking bottomward the street. The admittance of a assembly of Black women boasting altered shapes, sizes, shades, complexions, and hairstyles showed that we accommodate a aggregation of identities, anniversary one admired and special.
In the James Blake-assisted “Forward,” Beyoncé featured the mothers of Mike Brown, Trayvon Martin, and Eric Garner, all caught Black men dead by badge officers. Dressed in clothes like that of queens, Sybrina Fulton (Martin’s mother), Gwen Carr (Garner’s mother), and Lesley McSpadden (Brown’s mother) sat with photos of their collapsed sons in their easily and donned austere expressions. McSpadden had tears alive bottomward her face.
At aboriginal glance, the moment is a nod to the Black Lives Matter movement, but, at its core, the moment is one of solidarity, aggregate experience, and grief. One abounding Black mothers apperceive all too well.
Within the aboriginal account of the film, afros, coils, and bound curls abounding the screen. From Bey’s cottony arch blanket and long, gold braids to Stenberg’s big, coiled hair, to the collapsed top of a adolescent boy casual by in the “Hold Up” video, hairstyles long-deemed “ghetto” and “unprofessional” ran aggressive throughout the project.
The move to advertise such hairstyles was a adventurous one. To affectation hairstyles rarely apparent in the boilerplate — ones mainly specific to Black women and girls — is to acclaim these women of blush in a association area such women see the atomic bulk of acknowledgment and representation. But Bey has never been one to shy abroad from envelope-pushing moves.
In “Don’t Hurt Yourself,” a adduce from Malcolm X’s 1962 accent “Who Taught You to Hate Yourself?” plays:
Along with the voiceover, the faces of Black women of altered shades and with altered hairstyles arise on the screen, continuing in streets and on sidewalks. The activist’s words and the women’s appearances are allegorical of the invisibility of Black women in America’s social, political, and bread-and-butter spheres.
In a letter to “Mother Dearest” during “Daddy Lessons,” Beyoncé asks a alternation of questions about a man, including, “Did he angle your reflection?” and “Did he accomplish you balloon your own name?” In the end she inquires, “Am I talking about your bedmate or your father?”
The accent in the abbreviate composition tells a adventure accepted all too able-bodied by Black women: a multigenerational adventure of sacrifice, longing, and backbone in agreement of relationships. During “Pray You Catch Me,” Beyoncé declares, “in the attitude of men in my claret you appear home at 3 a.m. and lie to me.”
Through the eyes of a babe and words of a father, “Daddy Lessons” is allegorical of the Black ancestors acquaintance — decidedly the greater accident of alternation amid Black families due to the absence of Black men at home as a aftereffect of afterlife or incarceration (which both accept roots in systemic racism).
Beyoncé took a footfall against abandoning the narrow, apparent way in which association sees and interacts with Black women. By showcasing Black women and girls in abounding altered lights, Bey challenged the abreast appearance of Black women as either angry, loud-mouthed, abominable altar or, as Patricia Hill Collins declared in her 1990 book Black Feminist Thought , “ubiquitous Black prostitutes, and abiding abundance mothers.”
Throughout Lemonade, Black women of all altered shades, shapes and sizes are apparent walking through water, sitting in trees, or abrading their abundant bellies on advanced porches.The scenes claiming society’s adverse lens that generally puts Black women in a box. Beyoncé acclaimed the multidimensional attributes of Black women in the masterpiece by, for and about Black womanhood, and she did so angrily and unapologetically.
Along with its anniversary of culture, admirable visuals and abundant references, this ode to women of blush illustrated a simple, yet able point: for the Black woman, unapologetic and admirable are synonymous.