At 10:00pm on April 23rd 2016, I shut of my television and sat in silence. My chest felt heavy, my eyes were blurred by residual tears…What was wrong with me?I’ll tell you what was wrong, I sipped Beyoncés Lemonade. As I sat there I began to wonder why I felt so overwhelmed with emotion.
Perhaps we can start with actual Lemonade. The bitterness of that first sip, met by thousands of your taste buds suddenly coming alive then followed by a sweetness that invtes you in for another taste.
Thanks to TIDAL and now Itunes, I have been able to not only OD on her album but also revisit that visual. That powerful visual, encased in pain, power, rage, sadness, struggle, and pleas for redemption. Each song taking us through layers. Each visual rich in images reminiscent of the days of our ancestors, from the slave to the Egyptian Queen, the tribal woman to the creole ingenue and eventually to the modern day woman.
The speculation of Jay Z and Beyoncés relationship is merely fog over the true message in Queen B’s visual. There is something much bigger she is trying to say than what is being discussed.
All art is left to interpretation… and this is my interpretation… The woman, the black woman more specifically has one of the hardest jobs in the world and that is the decision to let go or protect the black man, all while keeping her dignity . While the struggle is so very real, so is the need for us to embrace our black men, and not leave them to the pains of the rest of the world. The hardship sometimes outweighs it all leading us into wells of darkness, yet Lemonade serves as a reminder of the cellular strength of the black woman giving us glimpses into moments of the past present and the future.
While the black lives matter movement is sprinkled throughout Beyoncés epic presentation, her strongest cries come from interludes ranging from a snippet of a Malcolm X speech…
“The most disrespected person in America is the Black woman, the most unprotected person in America is the Black woman. The most neglected person in America is the Black woman.”
As well as cameos made by Sybrina Fulton, Lezley McSpadden, and Gwen Carr the mothers of the deceased Trayvon Martin, Michael Brown and Eric Garner. Black women who have forced themselves to continue on after the painful loss of their sons by the hands of reckless human beings (notice I did not say police.)
The misconstrued complaint about the Black Lives Matter movement is that its Anti Police. I beg to object. It’s not anti police, it’s a wake up call, it’s a reminder that there is a very strong difference between how blacks and whites grow up. There is a difference between my brother leaving the house at 11pm than a white boy leaving the house at 11pm. The future for the young black male is dimming. The Black Lives Matter Movement only wants the world to humanize us not profile us. To listen to us, not shoot us.
It’s a vicious cycle, the black man are doing the dying (both spiritually and physically) while the black woman are left to pick themselves up and continue on after a major portion of them has died. That for me is the moral of the tale of Lemonade.
So, in the words of Beyoncé… “Okay ladies now lets get in formation….”