We live in a post-“Lemonade” world where millions of women wake up every morning without edges, hair follicles or a scalp. So, if you’re reading this, it’s probably too late and you’ve already joined the BeyHive after watching Beyonce’s Earth-stopping visual album.
Disclaimer: I’m not in the Hive nor was I forced to write this by the
scary terrorist organization lovable stan club but I get it now.
I see why Bey stans threaten to drop your granny in a volcano for shading their queen. I drank the lemonade (mostly because I love lemonade) and realized one simple fact: Beyonce makes Black women happy and that’s all that matters.
At some point, everyone should have this epiphany unless you’re a crusty white critic, miserable feminist icon or Twitter fingery hater currently ripping apart every layer of Bey’s existence for cheap clicks and lonely giggles.
And maybe they’ll never get it. Maybe they’ll never understand what Beyonce Giselle Knowles means to Black women who are bullied, ignored, violated, underpaid, silenced, profiled and murdered during routine traffic stops (RIP Sandra Bland) in our misogyny-drenched society.
Heartbreaking, I know, but important to point out at a time when Black women can’t even bask in their own womanhood for an hour without outsiders policing their happiness.
Think of something—anything—that makes Black women happy and you’ll see fun police hang gliding from space to shut it down. No, seriously, imagine Michelle Obama having a dance battle with Misty Copeland on the White House lawn and they’ll swoop down and pop your thought bubble.
And, let’s be real, this is nothing new. Women of color haven’t been allowed to enjoy themselves for centuries. At times, they’re completely ignored as human beings, mothers, employees and consumers despite their undeniable impact on the economy, social justice movements and literally everything else.
For years, I’ve watched mayo-splattered Hollywood cater to everyone except Black women who often settle for “Madea Goes To Church’s Chicken Because Popeyes Is Closed,” slavey mammy movies and dreadful RomComs where Steve Harvey tells women to think like Steve Harvey if they don’t want to die single.
I’ll honestly never know how it feels to be treated this way but I do know that our women shouldn’t be shamed for enjoying the ONE thing in this world that’s just for them: “Lemonade.”
With “Lemonade,” the transcendent mother, daughter, sister and wife bared her soul for everyone to see without fear or the slightest artistic compromise. For 57 minutes, she was unapologetically Black, beautifully vengeful and deeply bruised by marital infidelity.
There were stunning splashes of Black girl magic juxtaposed with cruel reminders of a broken system that wasn’t built to protect us (word to Vann R. Newkirk). At one point, the greatest (and cockiest) rapper of our time—her husband Jay Z—nuzzled her ankles in a moment that put her power in perspective.
“Lemonade” was everything Black women wanted and needed. Beyonce’s crowning achievement. A visual tour de force that finally deleted “Carmen: A Hip Hopera” from our memories. And I doubt any other Pop star of this era could’ve achieved this.
Over the years, I viewed Mrs. Carter as a carefully curated cyborg who didn’t curse, watch TV or poot. I had no connection with the larger-than-life supershero who rarely did interviews and never tweeted until it became clear that I, too, was the fun police offering unwanted critiques.
Growing up, I was the only child of a single mother who blasted Whitney, Anita, Patti, Gladys and The Pointer Sisters every Saturday afternoon. I saw mama be magical in her own space, on her own terms, like countless other women who look to Queen Bey for inspiration to get through the day or even a moment.
If you’re on Twitter, you’ve probably seen “shut the f*ck up when it’s Black girl time!” tweets during Beyonce events and I’m 100% sure Black women deserve these moments to themselves in our “Becky”-plagued society that doesn’t want to see them happy.