The Lemonade Reader: 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

The Lemonade Reader

1st Edition

Edited by Kinitra D. Brooks, Kameelah L. Martin


260 pages

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Paperback: 9781138596788
pub: 2019-06-11
Hardback: 9781138596771
pub: 2019-06-11
eBook (VitalSource) : 9780429487453
pub: 2019-05-24
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The Lemonade Reader is an interdisciplinary collection that explores the nuances of Beyoncé’s 2016 visual album, Lemonade. The essays and editorials present fresh, cutting-edge scholarship fueled by contemporary thoughts on film, material culture, religion, and black feminism.

Envisioned as an educational tool to support and guide discussions of the visual album at postgraduate and undergraduate levels, The Lemonade Reader critiques Lemonade’s multiple Afrodiasporic influences, visual aesthetics, narrative arc of grief and healing, and ethnomusicological reach. The essays, written by both scholars and popular bloggers, reflects a broad yet uniquely specific black feminist investigation into constructions of race, gender, spirituality, and southern identity.

The Lemonade Reader gathers a newer generation of black feminist scholars to engage in intellectual discourse and confront the emotional labor around the Lemonade phenomena. It is the premiere source for examining Lemonade, a text that will continue to have a lasting impact on black women’s studies and popular culture.

Table of Contents

Foreword by Candice Benbow

Preface by T. Denean Sharpley-Whiting


Introduction: Beyonce's Lemonade Lexicon: Black Feminism and Spirituality in Theory and Practice

Kinitra D. Brooks & Kameelah L. Martin

Interlude A: What Do We Want from Beyoncé?

Maiysha Kai

Interlude B: Bittersweet Like Me: When the Lemonade Ain’t Made For Fat Black Femmes and Women

Ashleigh Shackelford

Part I: Some Shit is Just for Us

Chapter One--Some Shit is Just for Us: Intro

Cheryl Finley and Deborah Willis

Chapter Two--Something Akin to Freedom: Sexual Love, Political Agency, and Lemonade

Lindsey Stewart

Chapter Three--Getting to the Roots of "Becky with the Good Hair" in Lemonade by Janell Hobson

Chapter Four--Pull the Sorrow from Between My Legs: Lemonade as Rumination on Reproduction and Loss

LaKisha M. Simmons

Chapter Five--The Language of Lemonade: The Sociolinguistic and Rhetorical Strategies Beyoncé's Lemonade

Alexis McGee

Interlude C: How Not to Listen to Lemonade: Music Criticism and Epistemic Violence

Robin James

Interlude D: Women Like Her Cannot be Contained: Warsan Shire and Poetic Potential in Lemonade

Shauna M. Morgan

Part II: Of Her Spiritual Strivings

Chapter Six--Looking for Beyonce's Spiritual Longing: The Power of Visual/Sonic Meaning-Making

Valerie Bridgeman

Chapter Seven--Beyoncé’s Lemonade Folklore: Feminine Reverberations of Odú and Afro-Cuban Orisha Iconography

Nicholas R. Jones

Chapter Eight--The Slay Factor: Beyoncé Unleashing the Black Feminine Divine in a Blaze of Glory

Melanie C. Jones

Chapter Nine--Beyonce's Diaspora Heritage and Ancestry in Lemonade

Patricia Coloma Peñate

Chapter Ten--Signifying Waters: The Magnetic and Poetic Magic of Oshún as Reflected in Beyoncé’s Lemonade

Martin A. Tsang

Chapter Eleven--Beyoncé Reborn: Lemonade as Spiritual Enlightenment

Lauren V. Highsmith

Interlude E: From Destiny’s Child to Coachella

L. Michael Gipson

Interlude F: "Formation" and the Black-Ass Truth about Beyoncé and Capitalism

Tamara Winfrey Harris

Part III: The Lady Sings Her Legacy

Chapter Twelve--The Lady Sings Her Legacy: Introduction by Daphne Brooks

Chapter Thirteen--To Feel Like a "Natural Woman": Aretha Franklin, Beyoncé and the Ecological Spirituality of Lemonade

Michele Prettyman Beverly

Chapter Fourteen--Beyoncé’s Western South Serenade

Tyina Steptoe

Chapter Fifteen--Beysthetics: "Formation" and the Politics of Style

Tanisha C. Ford

Chapter Sixteen--"I Used to Be Your Sweet Mama": Beyoncé at the Crossroads of Blues and Conjure in Lemonade

Kinitra D. Brooks & Kameelah L. Martin

Chapter Seventeen--Beyoncé's Lemonade and the Black Swan Effect

Kyra Gaunt

Chapter Eighteen--She Gave You Lemonade, Stop Trying to Say It’s Tang: Calling Out How Race-Gender Bias Obscures Black Women’s Achievements in Pop Music

Birgitta Johnson

Interlude G: Erasing Shame – Beyonce’s Lemonade and the Black Woman’s Narrative in Cinema

Aramide Tinubu

Afterword by Regina N. Bradley

About the Editors

Kinitra D. Brooks is the Audrey and John Leslie Endowed Chair in Literary Studies in the Department of English at Michigan State University, USA. Dr. Brooks specializes in the study of black women, genre fiction, and popular culture. She currently has two books in print: Searching for Sycorax: Black Women’s Hauntings of Contemporary Horror (2017), a critical treatment of black women in science fiction, fantasy, and horror; and Sycorax’s Daughters (2017), an edited volume of short horror fiction written by black women. Her current research focuses on portrayals of the conjure woman in popular culture. Dr. Brooks is serving as the Advancing Equity Through Research Fellow at the Hutchins Center for African & African American Research at Harvard University for the 2018–2019 academic year.

Kameelah L. Martin is Professor of African American Studies and English at the College of Charleston in South Carolina, USA, where she is also Director of the African American Studies Program. Dr. Martin’s research explores the lore cycle of the conjure woman as an archetype in literature and visual texts. She is author of two monographs: Conjuring Moments in African American Literature: Women, Spirit Work, and Other Such Hoodoo (2013) and Envisioning Black Feminist Voodoo Aesthetics: African Spirituality in American Cinema (2016). She is the Assistant Editor of the College Language Association Journal and has published in Studies in the Literary Imagination; Black Women, Gender, and Families; and the African American National Biography. She has edited special issues of Genealogy and South Atlantic Review, and co-edited a section of The Routledge Anthology of African American Rhetoric (2018).

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Gender Studies