“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.” – Malcolm X
Let me start off by saying I’ve never been apart of the beehive so please don’t hold me to their standards. I’ve never really connected to Beyonce musically with a few songs exceptions, until she gave us LEMONADE. This past weekend, black women were blessed with a gift and Beyonce released a special 60 minute video album on HBO and tidal for 24 hours. The album was healing. It combined various different artists and their talents including the writing of Somalian poet Warsan Shire and the body art of Nigerian artist Laolu Senbanjo. The album was an intimate and was a worldly and collective representation of conversations and healing practices that black women experience everyday.
More than anything else this work felt on time. I was having a conversation with my sister about a month ago and both of our love lives were still too complicated for no real reason and I said something like: “if Beyonce can’t get her man to stay, if she gets cheated on, we all doomed.” And then Beyonce came through and said nah, I’m not going through this and none of you should either. It is so amazing to me that most of the time all of women in my life are experiencing the same pains in their relationships, yet still think they’re alone. Or even scarier think there’s nothing better. This album wasn’t just another sad song you play when you’ve been hurt because it moves past that and demands, “If we’re going to heal, let it be glorious.” It demands that we as black women douse ourselves in culture and sisterhood, embrace every feeling we have that most days makes patriarchal societies call us crazy, and get back on our fucking grind. It acknowledges a multitude of sadness and rituals that are exclusive to the black woman. It shows us there is nothing wrong with forgiveness and its process. It is not for everyone, it is for us and as this community also lost Prince earlier this week, this was needed for the heart. With some many different cultural representations of myth and African spirituality this project was able to connect black people with a larger cultural significance of healing together and for the purpose of community.