11: I Was Served Lemons / by LaQuann Dawson

I was served lemons, but I made lemonade.

Lemon | courtesy of my roommate Alexis Charley (@charleycurls_) - Stool | courtesy Isaac Korb (@isaac_korb)

So as you may know by now if you've opened a single social media app since 9:45pm last night, Beyoncé dropped her album LEMONADE. I pitifully tried for half an hour to find a stream to watch her HBO special, not exactly aware of what she was actually releasing and I ended up watching a fuzzy iPhone version of it on Periscope. Even that was life enough for me. Then what do you know, she releases the entire thing on TIDAL, which I am a proud subscriber to. So I started it from the beginning and watched Beyoncé tell this beautiful, emotional story from start to finish.

I was served lemons...but I made lemonade....not until I saw Jay Z's grandmother speak these word's in Beyoncé's new visual album did I actually understand the concept of this phrase. For me the phrase has always been just something to say, I'd never actually put thought into it or tried to evaluate it. So I am thinking that this phrase lends itself to say that lemons are something negative. Sour. And lemonade is something positive and sweet. It is a simple concept so don't think I'm patting myself on the back or anything for just now getting this. But I get it, I do. We, all of us, are given some type of hardship and it is sort of our responsibility to try and make something good out of it. Out of everything.

Fur Gilet | Amazon (amazon.com) - Turtle Neck ASOS (asos.com) - Necklace | Winxi (amazon.com)

Blazer | ASOS (asos.com) - Jewelry | assortment from Amazon and Einstein's Attic (Einstein's Attic)

I have to say, all bias aside, that Beyoncé and her team put together a piece of art–no, a piece of history, that has me nearly speechless. It is kind of cool I think, that we get to watch these musicians and artists grow so publicly. Seeing the kind of content she produced back in her Destiny's Child days and then today. The subject matter has remained the same to an extent as I notice she continues to preach female independence but goodness how it has grown and evolved into something so much deeper.

Beyoncé's LEMONADE is an emotional experience. She takes us through different phases of heart break from denial to anger to emptiness to reformation to resurrection all the way to hope. I don't know if she's specially telling a story about her and her husband but from my viewpoint she is telling all of our stories in one thoughtful album. 

What I loved most about this album and the video that accompanies it is how political it was. I love that Beyoncé, like many other artists, is using her celebrity as a platform to make the world think and listen and understand. She is pushing her agenda on us and I fucking love it. Black feminism, independence and power. I am getting it all and I appreciate it. In the video she featured many other famous faces and voices to help get her message across. Serena Williams, Zendaya, Amandla, Michaela DePrince, all black feminist icons of today. Kendrick Lamar, an advocate for black power who uses clever lyrics and imagery to let the world know how fucked up things are and let us know we need change and unity. These are people we notice in the media who also use their platforms to bring attention to issues we face today and give us hope for the future. The cast for LEMONADE was perfect.

Bolero| Einstein's Attic (Einstein's Attic) - Scarf | Ebay (ebay.com)

Bolero| Einstein's Attic (Einstein's Attic) - Glasses | courtesy Michelle Carr (mjustiniani.com)

Watching this video I felt so inspired and I felt so much. In all honesty I couldn't contain myself, I kept making odd noises and outbursts, my roommate was probably in her room rolling her eyes at me. The fashion in the video featured some of my favorite looks from Beyoncé to date. She wore looks from Hood by Air, Yeezy, Roberto Cavalli and more. I don't want to write a novel about this video I really don't but there is so much to cover. The natural black hairstyles, the beautiful black women and the pro black attitude of the entire thing has my heart smiling. The end features diverse couples in love and smiling. Interracial couples, homosexual couples, etc. Bey really hit all the marks in this. She even has goddamn country song in this album and it slays. 

I know a lot of you think this woman is overrated and people obsess over her too much but fuck all of that, she is a genius and talented and she is trying to move us forward. Congratulations to Beyoncé and her team of writers, producers, videographers, dancers, etc. and congratulations to all of us to be honest. See you at the concert, Bey. This will be well worth a $300 ticket and a little bit of debt (kids don't grow up to be frivolous like me, please).

Prince would've been proud. 

Jewelry | assortment from Amazon and Einstein's Attic (Einstein's Attic) - Coat | thrifted from Volunteers of America (Volunteers of America)

Jewelry | assortment from Amazon and Einstein's Attic (Einstein's Attic) - Coat | thrifted from Volunteers of America (Volunteers of America)

Stay lit, love yourself, respect women, use coconut oil, and please give the album and the video a listen and a watch. And if anyone cares my favorite songs are Freedom and Don't Hurt Yourself. 

- Lackwhen.