The visuals for Beyoncé’s “Lemonade” deliver the mind-altering punch fans saw coming in their peripheral when the “Formation” video dropped. The video begins centered around infidelity and betrayal, dives into the painful depths of womanhood (and specifically Black womanhood) and rises to surreal and beautiful emotional crescendos.
The infidelity content (not surprisingly) sparked thousands of accusatory comments and jokes involving Jay-Z, and even a strange misinformed drag of Rachel Ray. But the gossip pales in comparison to the creation, and it’s piquing more interest in the powerful project (which features not only the breath-taking work of Beyoncé, but also the poetry of Warsan Shire and dancing from Serena Williams).
Beyoncé has created a truly amazing visual and auditory experience that reveals deep vulnerability and unabashed strength, and showcases generations of other goddesses in the same fearless manner. Her Black-woman-and-girl-centered narrative is touchingly crafted and delivered poetically, with the title referenced in the film by Jay-Z’s grandmother Hattie: “I was given lemons. I made lemonade.” That alchemy, making something wonderful out of nothing, is a magic that deserves recognition and respect– and Beyoncé is giving folks a push toward understanding it. Drink up.