“Moving Behind Pain” analyzes and critiques Beyonce’s album Lemonade. Beyonce is a considered one of the most successful artists in the music business. Bell Hooks thesis is “…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. ” I personally do not listen to Beyonce’s music, but Bell Hooks describes her album very positively but not at all perfect. For example she says “It is the broad scope of Lemonade’s visual landscape that makes it so distinctive—the construction of a powerfully symbolic black female sisterhood that resists invisibility, that refuses to be silent.” At points I felt Hooks was very contradicting, she says that Lemonade promotes black females so powerfully and she makes sure it is known black women are powerful but goes on to state other parts of her album that do not do the job. Hooks says that in Beyonce’s album there is fantastical female power, and it promotes and celebrates rage. Isn’t that just adding on to the stereotypes of black women being violent? Hooks also goes on to say that Beyonce made “violence” look sexy which does not even help. I don’t really understand how it helps her thesis. I guess she should emphasize the work “intent”. Hooks also goes on to say how Beyonce does not voice how men have to do the work to change both physically and mentally for violence against black women to end.
Beyonce is influential. Towards the end Hooks says “If change is not mutual then black female emotional hurt can be voiced, but the reality of men inflicting emotional pain will still continue (can we really trust the caring images of Jay Z which conclude this narrative).” She had many points but this particular part interests me. Can we not trust Beyonce as a black women because she stayed with Jay-Z, the father of her kids? Her critical essay made me want and not want to listen to her album all at the same time. Beyonce’s “intent” to portraying black women positive, is just as it is, an intent, from my understanding of Hooks voice.