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Usually, we are all for spilling tea but Bey gave us lemons to make Lemonade. If Formation was the table being set, then Lemonade is dinner being served. There is no amount of preparation that could have properly prepared us for the visual feast that would satisfy our emotional and mental taste buds. Lemonade was finger licking, lip smacking and go back in the kitchen for seconds and thirds good. Visually, there are so many layers to explore, so we touched on the main elements that stuck out to us the most.

Mother Earth and Planting Seeds

“Do you remember being born?” Warsan Shire

There were trees, roots and so may flowers. Usually scenes of nature were adorned with the presence of black women. All we could think of was Alice Walker’s ‘In Search of Our Mother’s Garden’. Lemonade hauntingly juxtaposes the backdrop of the South with the beauty of the history of Black women in this country. What happens when a seed is planted? Roots sprout and get a better grasp of the soil. A stem rises until it breaks the surface of the soil eventually, blossoming into a flower or tree. Countless seeds are planted and the process repeats itself until we have a forest or garden. We likened this to the resilience and strength of countless black women. Even when something or someone tries to bury us, we always find a way to rise. More so, emotional and mental traits we inherit through the verbal seeds planted in us from childhood. What happens when a concept or thought takes root and grows from generation to generation as in a generational curse? Where in lies the breaking point?

The Color Red

“Who the fuck do you think I am?” Don’t Hurt Yourself

Rage, sacrifice, passion and sexuality all tie in to the consistent theme of the color red in Lemonade. It is a color that shows up in the background, through fire, lighting and in costume. Red is an intense color in love and in pain. In the above scene, we see Bey swinging a red light in a room full of women. In another, she is in a full length red gown surrounded in a circle of flames before the scene switches to a red lit hallway as an introduction to 6 Inch (feat The Weekend).

Water

“Baptize me now that reconciliation is possible.” Warsan Shire

Water cleanses, purifies and heals. It is the giver of life and can easily become the destroyer of life if poisoned. In the beginning, Beyoncé allows herself to fall off of a ledge into a very deep pool of water. We then see her in a bedroom filled with water as she gracefully floats while seemingly contemplating something. It gives the feeling of a dream where the dreamer has no control of what is happening. In other scenes, water is used in conjunction to baptism and being reborn.

Sisterhood

“There is a curse that will be broken.” Warsan Shire

Beyoncé effortlessly tied life experiences that resonate with our friends, family and colleagues. This was “I am my sister’s keeper.” It was no longer me, you or her. It became all of us at the same damn time. If you feel it, we feel it. If you hurt, we hurt. If you are happy, we are happy. Bey reflected all of that. Beyoncé took the mental and emotional pages of the diaries of countless black women with the common underlying themes of generational curses, one sided love, immature relationships, daddy issues, etc. There are numerous scenes of us in groups and seemingly existing and functioning on the same wave length, because simply put I am you and you are me.

Black Girl Magic

“My grandma said, ‘Nothing real can be threatened.'” Warsan Shire

Beyoncé gave us the most feminine blackest black ass moment to date. There was twerking. There were Afros, cornrows, shaved heads and kinky pompadours. She sat on a black thrown while Serena Williams dropped and popped her derriere. Hell, even Oshun made a guest appearance *giggles*. She paid homage to the black South, Yoruba culture, our mothers and their mothers and so on. Beyoncé took years of history, emotions, thoughts and inner voices and magnified it on a scale that snatched us out of our long stupor to get in formation and drink some lemonade. This is her ode to us. Lemonade magnified melanin, baby hair and Afros on a scale from 1 to “I don’t give a fuck what you think. I am here to slay.”

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