Written by Christina Jane & Lauren Antoinette
The days leading up to Beyoncé’s Lemonade were a mystery. When the announcement dropped just a few days before its premier, there were no additional details given other than a date, time, and channel. What is Lemonade? Is it a new album? A clothing line? A movie? No one knew for sure until its premier. And just like that, Beyoncé gave us lemonade; a visual album. In this presentation, we were given music, spoken word, and more importantly, we were given imagery. The images of Black women throughout our times in America from the rural south to modern day filled our eyes and made our hearts swell a little too. We watched closely as the show went on; some singing along, some nodding their heads in agreement. Lemonade touched on the subjects of love, womanism, relationships, heartbreak, betrayal, anger, resentment, and forgiveness.
The album soared to number 1 on iTunes the very next day. We woke up to memes about Lemonade, articles about how to understand it, and countless theories about its meaning. There were even special meetings around the country just for people to view it together and discuss. Some people saw it as a spiritual journey, while others saw it as a tell-all story about her marriage. However, this was meant for us to do much more than to sit around with our girlfriends with lemonade infused cocktails discussing the visual album. Beyond going to the concert, beyond holding a few discussions with friends, beyond breaking up with a man that you had no business with, beyond picking up a few books, what do we do next? Do we know what “getting in formation” truly means? It is more than just a dance move, it’s a movement.
Lemonade is simply a mixer in our pre-dinner cocktail, it was meant to spark the conversation, not solve the issue. Reading in order to obtain knowledge on ourselves and our past is an important part of self-development. However, Lemonade should not be a thirst quencher for your inner journey to better yourself, your family and your community. We still have an appetizer, entrée and dessert to put out there to spark the minds of our children, fix the issues within our black love relationships and strengthen the economic development of our communities.
Make it your business to become involved. Don’t say you mean to, or will in the future, start working with the people around you now. Develop clubs and organizations that empower you and your circle into the best versions of yourselves. If you hear a webcast that you are loving about financial resiliency, forward it onto your friends. Turn that Friday night meet up into a Friday night power session. Enough with us standing around, having cocktails, and passing around business cards with no real conversation. We need to start having real discussions with each other on how we plan to use our businesses to empower the community.
Start demanding respect from all your relationships especially the ones in which you are sharing intimacy with your partner. No man that disrespects you or himself should be allowed a space in your life. Also make sure that you are providing what you demand. Give respect and expect it in return. So many people have memory lapses beyond the “sorry” record in Lemonade. Do not ignore the rest of the story that involves the forgiveness and rebuilding of the family. Beyoncé tends to have us fired up and ready to leave our men, but keep in mind that she goes home to her husband and daughter at night. Consider that before simply abandoning ship on a relationship that can be repaired.
Raise your damn standards and quality of self. Ask yourself, “how self sufficient are you and your household?” How often do you have to reach outside of yourself or household to keep functioning? Do you have a bond with other people also aiming to better themselves? Take an honest look at where you can make improvements. If your skills are coming up short, develop them.
Lemonade, was just the beginning. Don’t let it become a social media fad that fades away after a few weeks. Use that invoked emotion to fuel change within your life and the community.