This weekend marks the one-year anniversary of Queen Bey’s most powerful and empowering album to date.
The Emmy-nominated and Peabody-award winning visual Lemonade was a stunning ode to #BlackGirlMagic, the power of forgiveness and self-care. Its series of breathtaking videos were a fusion of the soul shattering words of Somalian poet Warshan Shire; imagery inspired by Julie Dash’s Daughters of The Dust, southern gothic culture and African religions and goddesses; and gut-wrenching lyrics that conveyed, pain, infidelity, love and Black resilience.
Last year, our own Shamika Sanders wrote that “Lemonade “is therapy for Black women who’ve been cheated on and gone back.” She wrote:
“Beyonce reveals her ugly truth in Lemonade. Stunning and unprecedented, the visuals take her career and legacy to legendary status. She’s reached deep into the roots of her womanhood– where we keep the pain locked away–and delivered an incredible ode to Black women that commands us to demand respect and believe in love all over again. In the circle of an hour, she twisted my body and made my tears flow like a saturated towel being squeezed dry. Only a woman who’s gone through similar turmoil could produce an opus stemming from sincere betrayal.”
And when the “Formation” video first dropped, I wrote that I was shocked and quite pleased with Beyoncé being vocally unapologetically Black, which was quite new for the singer:
“Like many female artists, Beyoncé uses her sexuality and female identity to sell her image and albums, but when it comes to her racial identity or her politics on race, Beyoncé has been quite mute. Even her newfound feminism that erupted with her last studio album was enlightening for some, but it lacked any real racial analysis or intersection.Translation: Bey may be Black, but her feminism isn’t.
Now, we did begin to see a shift in her last album. It was like for once she allowed us to see a grittier more “ratched” side of herself, perhaps a truer portrayal of who she really is behind closed doors. But “Formation” antes that all the way up, forcing us to consume a seriously authentic Black Bey and an aggressive message that the Queen isn’t all that interested in playing respectability politics games anymore.”
Point blank: This was an album for us, about us, by us.
And clearly folks agree; as Twitter went ablaze on Sunday with fans (aka The Beyhive) celebrating its one-year anniversary with the trending hashtag #Lemonade:
And for haters: We have one message for you: