The Whitney Museum chooses silence in an effort to displace, downplay, and negate valid public outrage regarding their policies, ethics and leadership. By Jamara Wakefield May 17th marked the start of the 79th Whitney Biennial. The Biennial is a contemporary art exhibition, featuring typically young and lesser-known artists, at the Whitney Museum of American Art […]
With “Lemonade,” Beyoncé Mixed an Elixir That Brought Me Back to Myself
Lemonade tore me apart and stitched me back together. I was enthralled. I was relieved. I was finally feeling something other than pain again.
When Beyoncé released her sixth album, Lemonade, last year, I was in the fog of one of my worst episodes of depression. I was mourning the death of my dog, who was my baby, and the PTSD I live with had me either feeling exceptionally anxious or numb and despondent.
I was already tucked in bed when I saw the complete visual album released on HBO, so I snuggled up under the sheets, pulled up my laptop, plugged in my headphones (my husband was asleep) and watched what I can only describe as an elixir.
Lemonade tore me apart and stitched me back together. I could feel my heart squeezing, my blood gushing through my veins into the capillaries of my fingers and toes. I cried. I felt an abundance of love and reassurance. I was enthralled. I was relieved. I was finally feeling something other than pain again.
Related: How “Lemonade” Saved My Marriage
The cultural significance of Beyoncé’s album is indisputable. Lemonade is Black as fuck. It is also for black women. It is an affirmation. It is a love letter to the multitudes of interpretations of Black womanhood. Lemonade is also a reviver.
I bought the album as soon as I could and I listened to it every day for months. It helped me wake up in the morning and get to work. I fucking put outfits together inspired by each individual song, I finally cared about what I was wearing again. I reveled in the ceremonies of being feminine and powerful.
Lemonade helped me regain the confidence I needed to shed the guilt I felt at cutting out toxic people in my life. I started to love myself again, find the confidence I needed to write for myself again. I had purpose.
I know that some people find elements of fan-culture ridiculous, but Beyoncé’s album made me feel alive when I thought the numbness and emptiness of grief was all I had to me.
At the anniversary of Lemonade, not only do I celebrate an artist, but I also celebrate a year of being a woman I love — and there is nothing more powerful than queer women of color loving themselves in a world that tells them not to.