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Beyonce Lemonade

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.

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Lara Witt is an award-winning feminist writer who primarily writes about feminism, racism, pop-culture, mental health, and politics. Witt received her BA in Journalism from Temple University and interned for Philadelphia CityPaper’s arts and entertainment section and the Philadelphia Daily News covering local news, court stories, and crime. Following her graduation, she became increasingly committed to writing about gender, race, and queer identity by using Black and brown feminist theory to analyze current news and politics. Witt freelanced for national and local publications, which led to her working with Wear Your Voice Magazine eventually becoming their EIC and rebranding the site to focus primarily on using the analytical framework of Dr. Kimberlé Crenshaw’s theory of intersectionality. Witt’s goal is to provide platforms for marginalized voices with a focus on having other Black, Indigenous and people of color (BIPOC) writers tell their own stories and explore their own narratives. Witt has spoken at local Philadelphia events, such as the March to End Rape Culture (2017) and curated a yearly series of events called The Electric Lady Series. These events highlight women of color in Philadelphia by exploring gender, rape culture, entrepreneurship, art, self-care, sex, and culture.

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