The future is feminist : an analysis of Black women’s rage in American society through Beyoncé’s Lemonade
Washington, Cherokee Cierra
December 8, 2017
Department or Program
Hayes, Heather Ashley
This thesis explores Beyoncé Knowles’ 2016 alternative R&B album Lemonade and its relationship to Black rage. Black rage, a concept discussed by rhetorical scholar Bryan McCann, often revolves around the association between Black men and the agency of rage. For McCann, Black men and the right to expressions of Black rage are inextricably linked through slavery and other oppressive traumas that have affected the Black community. Although Black rage is useful in understanding discourses of Blackness and masculinity, there is an unintentional absence of a focus on the ways that Black rage can be performed by Black women. Through Lemonade, I argue that Beyoncé extends the concept of Black rage beyond the notion that Black men are the primary vessels of rage. To do so, Lemonade articulates women’s expressions of Black rage through its visual and lyrical content, ultimately opening an avenue for the experiences of Black women to be valued and acknowledged by the public.