For one complete week, I emptied the entirety of my music library and left one album, Beyoncé’s latest debut, Lemonade. So, how did it fare? The R&B album, which was released via short film on HBO, caught viewers by surprise as Beyoncé revealed a powerful message of infidelity, feminism, and the meaning of blackness in America. As in classic Beyoncé nature, the album since its release has received critical acclaim and achieved the most simultaneous Hot 100 hits that any female artist has ever held. The twelve records separated into the phases of intuition, denial, anger, apathy, emptiness, loss, accountability, reformation, forgiveness, resurrection, hope and redemption. The album’s opening track,”Pray You Catch Me,” is breathless and haunting and sets the tone of the album.
Chapter 11 redemption, Beyoncé makes it clear just how much power exists between generations of women, and is testament to the resilience of black women in times of both collective and individual struggle. As cases of police brutality and the lack of justice served in their wake continues, the families left behind are the very embodiment of that resilience. While these ideas are universal and able to be felt and understood by anyone, it’s clear there’s an intended recipient of this
On April 23, Beyonce and Warsan Shire debuted an empowering visual album titled Lemonade in an HBO special dedicated to Black women. It depicted the journey of self-knowledge and healing through stages over a period of time; in the following order intuition, denial, anger, apathy, emptiness, loss, accountability, reformation, forgiveness,resurrection, hope, and redemption. Within each segment lies a woman dealing with her internal demons, societal pressure set against her, her relationship to those close to her, and the connection that she has to the world around her. All the while using haunting imagery to emphasize the power of her story that connects her to the past, present, and future through the art of cinematography, music and poetry.
Beyonce’s fervent passion for creating art is evident in the quality of her performances, diligent work ethic, and as well as in the song “6 Inch Heels”. In “6 Inch Heels”, Beyonce and The Weeknd sing about Beyonce staying true to her grind, and her steady/sound commitment to fulfilling her goals. In “6 Inch Heels” Beyonce exposes the inner lives of Black women by professing her genuine and raw expression of how tirelessly she works to achieve her goals. This is explicitly clear as she states, “She fights and she sweats those sleepless nights because she don’t mind, she loves the grind.” Furthermore, Beyonce encapsulates the essence of the life of the working class women, mamas, and wives. Though her success and riches are apparent, she
Beyonce, since infancy, has meticulously engineered her moniker to be adjacent to, in her respect, diety-like royalty. Seemingly injected with an air of sophistication since birth, many people are simply fascinated by the duality of her ipseity; she is aesthetically attractive and an activist for the women empowerment movement--more so evocative through her art rather than through her "off camera" life. But Beyonce possesses a rare magic every artist of color wishes they had which is her race is rarely a factor in people's decision to listen to her or not. In fact, not so long ago I found myself at a gathering with friends and a Beyonce song came on. Of course, commentary buzzed around the room, and I heard something that stuck out to me--someone said they forgot she was "black."
This was highly emphasized from the sinking of a police car to the use of slang words such as “slay” to embrace the language of the African American community and its defense to white supremacy. In conclusion, this song and its music video is a perfect example of how one of the biggest pop stars in the world explains a big social issue that still exists in our world today and embraces her roots but also sending out a provocative message behind the issue of race and wrongful brutality.
Using the emotions that stem from the oppression in our country, Kendrick Lamar creates the song “Vanity Slaves,” which is an amazing piece due to the fact
The latter part of our semester has been centered around Black feminists. Their work has been focused on the ways in which the intersectionality of gender and sexuality influence the lives of women who live under systems of oppression in the United States. These systems that deeply affect the way bodies of color, Black women very specifically, are able to conduct their lives. Black women in particular, are vulnerable to these systems in a way unlike any other body in America. Thinking back on the writings of Beth E. Richie, Angela Davis, and Audre Lord, I now see Assata Shakur’s “Affirmation” in a new light. “Affirmation” is a poem that speaks to the pain and suffering Black bodies have endured, and even through all of this pain, it speaks of optimism. I argue, that through the lens of Black feminism, we can re-examine many organizations and institutions in a way that can be truly be more inclusive of people of all walks of life. If systems were created with regard for the most targeted groups of people and not just the “majority”, we may truly see inclusive settings and we can benefit from the membership of people from different races, class, gender identity, sexual orientation and age in these institutions.
When Beyoncé wrote Formation, she had a clear message as well as a motive in mind, given the message behind the song, Beyoncé wanted the world to know that she was blatantly unapologetic and prepared for what anyone had to bring at her. Shortly after releasing her new song, it soon after became extremely popular and is now considered an anthem everywhere. Formation is a representation of self-acceptance and can be described as the celebration of Black Pride. Lyric by lyric, Beyoncé touched on many different topics but in the process, makes it clear that she is proud to be who she is and could care less what anyone has to say about her. By using lyrics such as “I like my Negro nose with Jackson 5 nostrils” or “I like my baby hair with baby hair
In this music video Beyonce sings about the issues of brutality that the black community faces. The video was released during Black History Month, which made it perfect timing in contributing support for the issue at hand. Beyonce sets the seen in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina struck. The entire video is shot with very de-saturated lighting to express the darkness and brutality of the message. The video begins with the establishing shot of Beyonce on top of a police car submerged in the flooded NOLA waters. This shot guides viewers to Beyonce’s first issue regarding police brutality that the black community faces. Throughout the video Beyonce also employs
Though the lyrical content of “Freedom” over speaks of empowerment, when they are combined with certain visual aspects, the viewer can see implication of the last presence of slavery in our society today and the hope that persist despite this presence. The clothing of the women in the audience wear is evocative of the Civil War period, where slavery still in full effect. The tree present in the scene is reminiscent of the hanging trees where slaves were executed during the same time period. Beyoncé herself has a ghost like glow to her as she stands up on the stage singing about “[breaking] chains all by [herself]”, indicating towards the hardships of slavery of those that came before her had to endure. Considering that this visual album as a whole arguably takes place in modern times, this scene brings together those references of the past with the events of the present. The black and white lighting show the duality of the two colors, signifying the still existing separation between the two races that still exists today. This shows that though slavery has been long abolished, its effects are still felt in current times. The scene does, however, show that even in these dark times, hope is not completely lost. Even though she appears restrained to the spot where she is standing while she sings, Beyoncé sings of freedom and how she will not give up on herself. Like the lights and fires that the illuminated the stage or the lanterns that lit up the banquet table, there is a semblance of hope that endures all the negativity present. This hope is that there is a possibly that change will eventually
Included in her album Lemonade, Beyoncé has a song entitled, “Freedom”, which explains how African American women have overcome so many obstacles in the past, only to still face discrepancies in society today. Going all the way back to slavery, Beyoncé still compares that time frame to the times we are living in now. Not with physical beatings, but with mental and emotional trauma that women experience today have held us in a place of bondage. She also alludes to the “Black Lives Matter” movement in her song to bring awareness to the issue of police brutality. Kendrick Lamar is featured in this song, in his verse shedding light on
Every two to four years, politicians aspire to demonstrate their competency for political office. Political campaigns and organizations concentrate millions of dollars to undercut and outlast the opposition. They drag names through the mud, as if it were the next step on the political “corporate ladder.” The American people, caught in the middle, are torn between the need for elected officials and the heartbreak of countless shattered oaths. Consequently, they dissociate themselves from misused words like Democrat, Republican, and change. They have learned to bite their tongue, drink their beer and leave well enough alone. That’s exactly what the politicians want.
Just looking the news today in twenty seventeen it is very easy to see that the state of American politics is distressing to say the least. Polarization and extremism is quickly becoming the norm. American parties are each going farther and farther to the left and right. Moderates are disappearing at an alarming rate. Senators and Representatives working across the aisle has mostly become a thing of the past. Government officials have become heavily tied to the party line without thinking about the good of the country as the whole. The foundational principle of compromise has been replaced with obstruction. Parties would much rather block anything the other party wants to get done rather than working out a possible deal. In recent years
Dustin: That's great and then if you look at like nine years from now and you're leaving that legislature what else is different? It might be on specific issues or what's different about the system or what else is there because you stood up and you were counted this is now the way Colorado politics is?