Since dropping her visual album, Lemonade, Beyoncé has generated a lot of discussion over the album’s themes of race, gender and relationships. Last night, the cultural engagement section of SAB hosted a screening and discussion of Lemonade in Parmer Cinema to address these themes.
Cultural Engagement Executive Abigail McBride, was inspired to create this event because of the popularity that Lemonade has gained.
“It would be lazy not to engage with it,” McBride said. “Art can be so healing and therapeutic.”
After the film, McBride, along with panelists Rachel Taylor, president of the Black Student Union, and Leslie Giboyeaux, secretary for the Multicultural Council, began the discussion. They shared their thoughts on Lemonade and the societal issues it presented.
Taylor and Giboyeaux agreed that “this is an album for black women.” Throughout the film, Beyoncé uses the idea of a problematic relationship with her husband to convey a deeper struggle black women face.
She also dismantles the idea that anything a woman does should be for the pleasure of a man. “Beyoncé brought to the media a new type of feminism that is often hidden,” said one of the audience members.
Many of the scenes in the film take place on plantations and buses, which play into the idea of black history and the key places where it was shaped. “It just shows that we thrived where we weren’t supposed to,” explained Taylor.
“Beyoncé’s film is humanizing a group of people that have been dehumanized,” added Giboyeaux.
The vulnerability and complete truth that Beyoncé displays throughout Lemonade was another focal point of discussion. Many said she doesn’t hold anything back in the film, which has caused controversy amongst viewers around the world.
The panelists agreed people are upset about Lemonade because they don’t understand it. They believe people don’t understand what Beyoncé is revealing about racism and sexism and therefore dislike or disapprove of it.
“Minorities often have pressure to package our minority and present it to the world,” said SAB President Amanda Fernandez. “Beyoncé is saying, ‘this is what I have to say and I’m not going to cater it to you.’”
“This is bridging the gap between what we learn in class and how we work with elements of culture,” said McBride. “Pop culture is what we are going to be engaging in everyday as we walk outside Messiah.”