Bitter Sweet Lemonade

I read the Hilton Al’s review on “Lemonade” and I could never quite tell their stance on the topic. The review stayed away from Beyonce frequently and compared her work to that of others. I got impressions that Hilton did not enjoy it, especially after saying at the start that their experience of a concert was ass. The whole time reading it I still felt unsure. I was honestly still lost due to the fact I don’t follow pop music, especially artists from before 2000s which were referenced frequently. I wouldn’t be able to stretch a review so much by relying on others people works. The reliance on referencing other people seemed a bit much. Referring how someone can relate to something is fine, by the article writer brought up how another artist set some form of example in the past, and then seemed to criticize Beyonce for following such a brilliant example. It could be that I was tired while reading the article but in the end, after reflecting on it, I still feel lost about a final opinion. If I were to write the article, I would’ve tried to focus more on the present and what factors could’ve contributed to “Lemonade” having an hour long movie to accompany it. As opposed to focusing on Beyonce’s past success and her involvement with men along the way solely.

pop culture response

Karina Ramsey

Dr. Carrie Hall

English 1121


In the article “moving beyond pain” the writer is saying that lemonade was primarily written to give power to the black female body which is often times dehumanized. What was confusing at times was the diction used in this writing, it was hard to understand at some points in the reading. The writing had many mixed feelings about the lemonade album and sometimes it was hard to understand her point. From what I understood she was trying to say that this album showed an angry black woman, especially when it starts off with the leading character “Beyoncé” smashing cars with a baseball bat. Black women are often looked like as angry and this album did nothing to show otherwise it showed violence in a sexy way. However, Beyoncé did celebrate the black female body and encouraging black women going after their “bag. She showed that black female women’s body comes in all different shapes, and sized. I learned that this album was a platform used for healing even though it praised things like violence making it seem ok when it is not. What I like about this writing is that it was very detail oriented and I would like to expand on that in my own writing.


Beyonce Lemonade

Michael Vignoles


After reading “Moving Beyond Pain” I started to understand who Beyonce fights and represents for. She motivates and helps give people who don’t have a voice, minorities, but more specifically women. While reading the article I didn’t know her whole album was talking about social justices like women inequality. Through out history women have been oppressed and  powerless, but living in 2019 we live in a different world and its time for women to speak up and fight for what they think is right. Things like imbalanced pay between man and women, rape culture, women empowerment, and equality between man and woman. Beyonce is the face of all women in America, and she is leading this empowerment movement.

Pop Culture

         The author of Moving Beyond Pain made some great points about multiple things. This article speaks about the black female body and the audience of Lemonade. It also spoke about the interpretations of their point of view and of Beyonces point of view. The author often speaks about how she feels like she’s missing the “point.” I found it interesting when the author stated, “From slavery to the present day, black female bodies, clothed and unclothed, have been bought and sold. What makes this commodification different in Lemonade is intent; its purpose is to seduce, celebrate, and delight—to challenge the ongoing present day devaluation and dehumanization of the black female body.” Which has me thinking of what the author is trying to state. Which lead me to the conclusion that she’s trying to relate it back to today’s era and how that’s still an ongoing process that should be stopped. But, i feel like black women are discriminated everyday. The author took Beyonces footage too critical at a point. I feel like Beyonce was just trying to prove a point when she showed the police cars and hurricanes and so on, she  most definitely did not mean to condone any violence. She was just trying to represent a sense of women empowerment.


bell hooks Moving Beyond Pain response

The author of Moving Beyond Pain made some great points about choosing peace over violence, and the presence of black women’s celebration of unity in Beyonce’s Lemonade. A lot of what the author talked about intrigued me, especially their interpretation of Lemonade and how their’s was different from even Beyonce’s interpretation of her own work.

I find it very interesting that the author feels that there is an ever-present “dehumanization of the black female body” going on today, and that the author took away from Lemonade that it wanted to address and challenge that specific issue. Perhaps there is a big issue there, and maybe the author is right about Beyonce targeting it, but personally, I haven’t seen or heard much about it in the present day in regard to the broad variety of social issues. However, if the author had actually meant the dehumanization and objectification of women’s bodies in general as opposed to strictly the dehumanization of the bodies black women, I would have agreed with their point more extensively. I do agree with the author, however, that black women are discriminated on significantly, just in different ways.

The author also views the violence in Lemonade as contradictory to their interpretation of the album’s central message.  But even though the music video contains physical violence on cars and such, it’s also possible Beyonce didn’t actually mean women should go out and beat up cars, or perform violence of similar means. Perhaps the author was thinking too literally about the violence in the video, and the violence was actually just a representation of the toughness, even if that aspect might be cliche, simplified, or even an uninspired representation of it.

Pop Culture Response

I read the article by Hilton Al’s responding to the album “Lemonade” by Beyonce, what came to my mind right after reading the article is that Beyonce wants to show everyone that girls do not need a man to accomplish something in their career. While before reading the article I thought, that the album was going to be about Jay Z being unfaithful to the female singer. Also what I think Beyonce was trying to do in the album was to sort of encourage all females in the world to do more, and not just waiting for other to do so and when bad things happen, just try your best to get over it (Like what she has done after Jay Z cheating on her). What I didn’t understand was why was Beyonce at the end of the video “Formation” sitting on top of a police car. Did she wanted to show a police car to represent the government? This is the only thing I did not understand about the video “Formation”.

Pop culture Response

After watching Beyonce’s Lemonade video, so many social problems came to light. The writer of Lemonade is saying that women should come together uplift each other. Also saying that Minorities as a whole are still being affected some way in this corrupt society we live in and something should be done about it. Something that confused me was the very end of the video when she drowned with the police car. I didn’t know if she was saying we should fall under that status quo and let the government pulls us down and stay quiet or was she contradicting herself. After reading the the article “Moving Beyond Pain” I learn the real idea of Feminism is mainly to take away all the things that separate men from women and that lemonade is actually the way to contrast life’s bitter but sweet moments. The author is using facts and the past to persuade us in his/her argument. I like that cause it shows the basically two sides. For Example Bell Hooks first talks about how from young girls were taught to get their money and to be independent but later on in the article he says it’s a fantasy of women to get equal pay as men. throughout reading the article it got me thinking of the way it contradicts itself.

While reading Bell Hook’s article on Beyonce’s Lemonade album I noticed that Hook thinks that Beyonce was positively portraying the image of black women as seen in some of her music videos. As stated in the article, “Lemonade positively exploits images of black female bodies-placing them at the center, making them the norm. From this I would assume that Hook thinks that Beyonce wants black women to feel comfortable in their own skin and bodies. Black women are seen to come in all body sizes, shapes, and textures including afros. Also what I got from this article is that Beyonce is trying to move past her pain by loving herself and relying less on a man. Beyonce went through a rough time with Jay Z when she found out that he cheated on her. She made time for herself to get over it and move on. Throughout her Lemonade album it seems as if she’s encouraging woman to be independent and not feel like they need a man to be complete. In Beyonce’s song Freedom she states, “I had my ups and downs, but I always find the inner strength to pull myself up.” This is Beyonce saying that in life she doesn’t allow the sweet or bitter moments to consume her. She just lives life accordingly. Lastly, Beyonce expresses through her album that life shouldn’t be about the ability to endure pain but honoring the ability to move past it.

Pop Culture Response

I read Hilton Als’ response about Beyonce’s Lemonade video is that it is almost like a guideline for female empowerment. On the last page Hilton said ” Instead of diving deeper into her art, Beyonce gives the world formulas”. This leads me to believe that Beyonce is trying to empower women but they can only do that themselves. She is just laying the ground work for them to actually bring about any kind of change. Hilton also kind of brings up how in this current generation it almost seems like we have “forgotten” about our past. On the fourth page, Hilton brings up how Beyonce’s opening in “Formation” is a call back to Messy Mya and how it kind of brings the song back to southern roots. We kind of are moving on in life so past traditions get left behind. Beyonce is trying to grab at those past traditions and bring them back.

Response to Pop Culture (Beyonce’s Lemonade)

I enjoyed the article “Moving Beyond Pain” and it’s discussion of “Lemonade” as it being more than just an album about Jay-Z being unfaithful. What the writer says about “Lemonade” that I find interesting is that the writer explains that Lemonade positively exploits images of black female bodies, placing them at the center, making them the norm. She states that the album shows that there are diverse representations of the black female bodies and that it comes in all sizes, shapes, and textures with all manner of big hair. She also explains that the purpose of Lemonade is to challenge the ongoing present day devaluation and dehumanization of the black female body. What I learned from the article is that how the album “Lemonade” not only targets about Jay-Z being unfaithful to Beyoncé but it references both the personal struggles that Beyoncé went through and some of the issues faced by black women today and throughout history. For my own writing I would of course explain the individual’s purpose and meaning of making the album, who is the target for the songs in the album, and what values do the lyrics contain?