Lemonade: The Visual Black Wombspace, Pt1

There will be so many different think pieces and stories, documentaries, study groups, conferences and courses spawned by the massive impact of Beyonce’s Lemonade and I have so enjoyed mining the internet and magazines and casual work conversations to observe the reactions and make note of themes that arise to compare and contrast them with my own as I process it all. I cannot even begin to really describe how phenomenal, how loving, how healing, how deeply moving and ground breaking the work is to me, or what a personal call to healing it is for Black women.

It occurred to me today that the last time I felt this way about the epic production and showing of a visual component to a piece of music was when Moma debuted the video to Bjorks Black Lake on two screens opposite each other in a room insulated with black soundproofing that resembled the crags and craters inside of a cave and concurrently were shaped like cones that reminded me of breasts.  The room was designed especially for the purpose of creating a certain silence within which to fill with the sound of Bjork’s searing brand of heartbreak, vulnerability and healing. As a diehard fan I went in open, so I was crying by the end. I held in way more then I let out because I would have made a scene otherwise.

This is how I felt watching Lemonade on my laptop, in the privacy of my living room last Sunday. Only with Lemonade it was much more personal because I know Beyonce is speaking directly to Black women about heart issues and political issues and emotional, spiritual, generational issues that we have all been effected by. She broke herself open thereby also forcing us to break open and allowed us to see inside a wild, fragile, beautiful, dark, feminine and powerful place within her that reflected something jarringly familiar back at each of us. I think of this as the visual Black womb space. As Black women much of what we internalize in our hearts and spirits is stored in our wombs both metaphysically and actually.

The womb is the place from which we connect to so much of what defines us as Black women. And when we ignore that place, the consequences of that neglect come to define us as well. In Lemonade, I felt like Beyonce was drawing me into the consequences of love, heartbreak and healing by constructing her womb space in layers of symbolism, spoken word and of course sound and song. It was an interior that evoked sadness, loss, anger evolution, rebirth, forgiveness, joy and even a mad kind of humor but most of all it evoked sisterhood, femininity and womanhood in a way I have never seen expressed with such sweet and unapologetic unification and beauty. Black women loving, holding, supporting, standing for each other, holding hands and holding hands up high.

I’m emotional right now just writing about it. It’s hard for me to put into words the feeling of seeing something, feeling someone speak to your soul in a way you maybe never thought was possible in your lifetime. In a way that was so desperately needed. Never even knowing you needed it.

I know that Lemonade was something Beyonce conceived of long ago and nurtured and carried and created carefully and thoughtfully before releasing and giving birth. Every aspect of Lemonade is reflective of Beyonce’s awareness of the power of divine feminine within her as well as what she sees potentially in every Black woman. Every creation has it’s time.

 

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