Lemonade Was Not For Us White People

By Andrew Mayzak

Lemonade was not for us white people.

So we selected the album about mid-20s white girl problems.

Because somehow that's more accessible, more marketable, and just plain preferable to dealing with fame, a rocky marriage, motherhood, and neofeminism - all while being BLACK.

White fragility at its worst is preferring art whose singular intent is to expose a diary-like saga of the artist's personal development, worshipping at the Altar of Celebrity, while passing over art that is controversial, transformative, and slips the bonds of individual ego to take on a communal, even national meaning.

With all due respect to Adele, who is a towering artist in her own right, 25 was not as tight or as culturally needed as 21... because in 2016, we didn't need songs about breaking up while white. We needed songs about being human while black.

Beyoncé gave us those.

Like Lady Gaga's The Fame, Lemonade was intersectional. But whereas The Fame intersected music and fashion, dilettantish pursuits made possible by white privilege, Beyoncé intersected Black Lives Matter with feminism... two human rights causes which underpin the foundation of American society. Music was only the vehicle for her message, not the end unto itself.

I believe this was lost on most white listeners who instead swayed to the beat of "Hold Up" or snap-swoosh-snapped in their living rooms to "Formation," thinking themselves progressive and fabulous for liking a black artist's music, yet couldn't be bothered to decipher the obvious message in the bottle.

Lemonade was an alarm, a wake up call to arms which signaled an impending avalanche of black feminism, the first of many intersectional movements to be born of the Trump era.

And we missed it.