It seems just about everywhere, the word “lemonade” is constantly escaping people’s lips. Whether in reference to Beyoncé’s album, Lemonade, or drawing a glass of the chilled drink to a parched mouth; lemonade is in everyone’s life. In more ways than one, Beyoncé has contributed to an ongoing discussion on blackness in the world and in society. She’s using her platform to talk about hard issues that women, especially black women have faced and are continuing to face today. While I know she’s not the only one heralding about black womanhood, I do like that she is making everyone come to attention with black womanhood. Scholars and academics have been discussing this topic for ages, however not everyone is in the position to access this erudite outlet. Beyoncé on the other hand is very accessible as she is in the forefront of media and entertainment. By her stepping out and announcing that black femininity and the disparity within that complex is important and valid, it allows all to have access to the conversation. Everyone has a seat for them at the table. More and more girls and women are becoming unapologetically black, embracing their flaws and fortitude.
No, this isn’t another think piece into the inner workings of Lemonade. Rather it’s how I will use the momentum of Lemonade to create a space for my summer reading. This summer is all about the lemonade, drawing inspiration from Beyoncé’s album and reading books that are just as innovative and self (black) loving. Does this mean that I go pick out a whole bunch of books that are written by black people? No, it means carefully crafting my reading conspectus to include works that deal with all of the many subjects Lemonade discusses. Sisterhood, black femininity, black masculinity, motherhood, fatherhood, popular black tropes, depression, infidelity, and so much more. It’s being able to read the novels, poems, etc., and then having a participation at the table. It’s about pushing representation on all platforms. Lemonade created a much needed dialogue men and women need to have among each other and with themselves.
This summer I’m taking a big swig of lemonade and pressing the art the album created and placing it in my reading agendum. I’m filling my shelves with books that not only bare the pain and despondency of black people, but the history, the backbone to it all. There are texts upon texts that touch on black literary theories and feminists critiques. While I can’t read every book this summer, I will read plenty that evoke all the Lemonade-esque vibes. The literary world is one place where the information is plentiful and doesn’t require a prerequisite in order to turn a page. Beyoncé is pouring artistic and literary tangy goodness, and I’m here to take a sip.
Here are just some of the books I added to my summer roster.
- Ain’t I a Woman-bell hooks
2. Summer of the Cicadas-Cole Lavalais
3. Between the World and Me-Ta-Nehisi Coates
4. Shapeshifters: Black Girls and the Choreography of Citizenship-Aimee Meredith Cox
5. What is Not Yours is Not Yours-Helen Oyeyemi
6. We Love You, Charlie Freeman-Kaitlyn Greenidge
7. Blackass-A. Igoni Barret
While the list may seem small, the content inside is momentous. I encourage all of you to get in formation and join in on reading texts that are Lemonade worthy.
What are you reading this summer?