Beyoncé's Lemonade: The Week in Pop-Culture Writing

The highlights from seven days of reading about entertainment

Parkwood Entertainment

Lemonade, Love, and Being a Black Girl Who Becomes a Black Woman
Amani Bin Shikhan | Noisey
Lemonade is an ode to the movement of mountains, to the crack of hips. The birth of a black woman. In all her top tier, five-star, backseat lovin’ goodness. In her hair grown out to her feet, hands fused in prayer. During her menses and during the height of her orgasm. Your perfect girl. Your eeriest of dreams, draped in fur and bathed in blue-tinted garage lighting.”

Lemonade Is About Black Women Healing Themselves and Each Other
Morgan Jerkins | Elle
Lemonade is more than a showcase of just one black woman’s humanity. It is a narrative of how black women’s healing is a communal art, not an individualistic act. Healing might arrive through singing as Beyoncé does while others dance around her, cooking food with one another, holding hands in solidarity, or simply standing in the presence of those who are sharing in the pain.”

Lemonade Is Beyoncé’s Body and Blood
Clover Hope | Jezebel
“There’s an invisible cape of protection around her. Though we know the caretaker, black and powerful, herself needs protecting. This is the reality and fantasy of Lemonade: a beautiful blur of truth and fiction, sacred and profane, strength and weakness, shrewdness and art. Inherited burdens and, finally, salvation. It’s the story of, and for, the tossed-aside black women whose fury makes us strike and for those who bottle it up.”

Warsan Shire: The Somali-British Poet Quoted by Beyoncé in Lemonade
Rafia Zakaria | The Guardian
“The migrant and the Muslim woman may be the most marginal figures of our divided and suspicious present, their realities dulled into the monochrome of submission and desperation, to elicit pity or polemic. In Warsan Shire’s poetry they speak for themselves, its vivid literary exploration of their inner lives adding the depth and complexity that grants them a full and realized humanity. Here is rebellion in verse … ”

“Isn’t This Funnier?” New Girl Creator Liz Meriwether Recalls the Making of the Prince Episode
Liz Meriwether | Vulture
“His voice was … I don’t need to tell you what his voice was like. Soft. Strong. A whisper that sounded like it was booming out over a loudspeaker. He spoke, and the street I was standing on opened up. It’s possible I was having a full-on panic attack … But I knew, all the way in Minnesota, Prince could tell he was speaking to a person who had, moments ago, spit a dumpling out of her mouth.”

Prince: A Eulogy
Greg Tate | MTV News
“It’s only in our mourning that we realize we know more about your furtive, mysterious, cunning, and offstage publicity-shunning fantasy life and psychic haunts than any black cat in history, famous, infamous, or even family. Yet the deepest thing about you in retrospect, my ninja, is also the most obvious. That like every other big-tent playa-pimp impresario we’ve ever known, you lived and died by that most basic rule: Give ‘em everything you’ve got in spades, but always leave ‘em grieving for more.”

I Can Tell You All About Lemonade
Laur M. Jackson | Complex
“I will give you names. Names of black women. Not a be-all list. But a good start if this is new to you. If anybody thinks this is an everybody project. Black women’s work. Black women’s magic. Black women who have chosen to gift the world knowledge that even themselves contain secrets deliberately unnoticeable by you who may never need get it.”

Beyoncé, Hillary, Michelle, and the Business of American Marriage
Josie Pickens | The Daily Beast
“Beyoncé’s art and Hillary Clinton’s real life reckoning, played out before the public, are presenting us with new commentary on wives and cheating husbands: The reason a woman chooses to stay in a marriage after her partner’s affair may have changed from financial dependency, or unyielding loyalty, or societal constraints, to staying because (most importantly) it’s good for business and her whole life trajectory.”

Why Won’t Hollywood Cast Asian Actors?
Keith Chow | The New York Times
“Such facts reveal Hollywood’s dirty little secret. Economics has nothing to do with racist casting policies. Films in which the leads have been whitewashed have all failed mightily at the box office. Inserting white leads had no demonstrable effect on the numbers. So why is that still conventional thinking in Hollywood?”

Prince, Cecil Taylor, and Beyoncé’s Shape-Shifting Black Body
Hilton Als | The New Yorker
“Butler is the dominant artistic force in the movie version of Lemonade. Shot by various young filmmakers, ranging from Kahlil Joseph to Melina Matsoukas, the movie is accompanied by lyrics that chronicle the anxiety of infidelity and resolution—no love, let alone any coupling, is perfect—but it’s the black female body, Butler’s great subject, that struggles against and sometimes breaks free of Beyoncé’s pop perfection.”