Kayla Cason – “Moving Beyond Pain” Response

After reading “Moving Beyond Pain” by Bell Hook, I better understand the messages Beyonce conveys in her songs and music videos from her 2016 album Lemonade.  Bell discusses several issues highlighted within the album and yet one peaked my interest most. Beyonce’s visual essay from her sixth studio album depicts black women in an honest and realistic manner – a way in which black women are typically not seen in.  The appearances of the performers in the videos reflect the typical African American woman, and the metaphorical expressions within her videos provide insight on the true feelings of black women in America. For instance, in Beyonce’s video for “Hold Up,” the singer walks through the streets, bashing in random parked cars as a means of releasing her anger.  In American media, it is uncommon to convey the anger felt by black women without the attachment of negative stereotypes. However, in her video, Beyonce chooses to remove the negative connotations typically partnered with angry black women in the media and instead chooses to celebrate rage (Hook). This depiction of black women is not often portrayed in the media and is instead replaced with images that aid in the “devaluation and dehumanization of the black female body.”  As a young black woman myself, I recognize the misrepresentation of black women within media and I commend Beyonce for aiding the eradication of prejudice against black women. As Bell Hook discusses, this misrepresentation of black women leads to not only the world viewing them in a negative light but to black women negatively viewing themselves as well. Beyonce’s Lemonade album allows black women to be heard, and understood.

Comment ( 1 )

  1. Jamirka De León
    I love your response and how you summarized Hook's article. I especially enjoyed how your summary of the main ideas of the articles relates back to her beginning statement. Personally, I was confused on what she meant by "this is capitalism at its finest" but finally understood when you said "In American media, it is uncommon to convey the anger felt by black women without the attachment of negative stereotypes." Beyoncé challenges the stereotypical way black women are portrayed in the media and can prove to be highly influential because she has such a wide audience. This article is an enlightenment on the change that needs to be done. I also really liked that you related it to your personal life which allows for a more direct perspective on the situation. Great response!

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