• Danielle

Afros, Braids, and Lemonade

The wait is over; Beyoncé dropped her highly anticipated album Lemonade which was featured as a visual album on HBO. Beyoncé definitely took her artistry to the next level so much that I think she can’t even believe what she just did. For example you ever write something, essay, poem, etc. and later on read it back to yourself and say in amazement damn I wrote that, that’s how she feels right about now. But, what everyone cannot stop talking about are the complex lyrics such as "I pray I catch you whispering. I pray you catch me listening" that allude to infidelity. Everyone has his or her own theory as to whom she’s talking about but we can say this and that but we’ll never REALLY know. What you can take from the visual is it’s a full circle story of betrayal, anger, pain, realization, forgiveness and rebirth.

Beyond the lyrics I was more captivated by the visuals in it. The atmosphere, the nature, the women rich with melanin, time and space all played a part in making this visual immaculate. You almost didn’t want to blink out of fear of missing any beauty or pain Beyoncé wanted us to experience with her. As the resident naturalista I was elated seeing all the women rocking afros, braids, and twists celebrating OUR culture in pure fashion. The kaleidoscope of black women featured throughout the visual is beautiful. Beautiful in the sense we all look different but the same and we wear our beauty without destroying another. Not only is my black beautiful but, we shine even brighter with our sisters.

"Power is making things happen without asking for permission" Beyoncé states in her interview in the May issue of ELLE. But how does one use that power? Beyoncé has a platform that many celebrities fail to use to discuss social injustices plaguing our society. Many influential faces were featured throughout the visual that can and will not go unnoticed.Lets go through the list shall we.

Serena Williams dances sexy next to Beyoncé after being defeminized throughout her career of looking too masculine. Zendaya and Amandla Stenberg being unapologetically black after both facing race identity issues in their careers. Winnie Harlow looks us straight in the face to recognize the beauty in imperfection. Young Quvenzhané Wallis holds the hand of Blue Ivy to say I am my sister's keeper after being scrutinized in the industry. Sybrina Fulton, mother of Trayvon Martin, Lesley McSpadden, mother of Mike Brown, Gwen Carr, mother of Eric Garner all holding pictures of their sons because we will never forget and, never stop fighting for social justice. Lets not forget mama Tina showing us that love doesn’t stop at pain "Heaven will be a new love without betrayal." This is how Beyoncé uses her power

To make things plain Lemonade takes us through a roller coaster of emotions. The premise is understanding the strength in the struggle. Understanding myself so I won’t make this mistake again. Understanding myself so I can forgive this person for hurting me without me hurting them. Understanding the mistakes of my mother and father do not have to be my burden to carry. We cannot predict the cards we are dealt in life but, the outcome is in how you play your hand. When life gives you lemons make lemonade.



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