Graduation Year


Date of Thesis Acceptance

Fall 12-8-2017

Major Department or Program

Rhetoric Studies


Heather Hayes


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.

Key Words: Black Women, Black Feminism, Pop Music, R&B Music, Beyoncé Knowles, Protest Rhetoric, Black Rage, Anti-Black Discourses

Page Count


Subject Headings

Beyoncé, 1981- ‚ Women, Black‚ Feminism -- Black‚ Popular music‚ Rhythm and blues music‚ Rhetoric‚ Anger -- Black‚ Race discrimination‚ Discourse analysis -- Anti-Black‚ Protest movements‚ Oppression (Psychology)‚ Womanism‚ Equality -- United States‚ Whitman College 2017 -- Dissertation collection -- Rhetoric Studies

Permanent URL

Document Type

Public Accessible Thesis

Included in

Rhetoric Commons



Rights Statement

Rights Statement

In Copyright. URI:
This Item is protected by copyright and/or related rights. You are free to use this Item in any way that is permitted by the copyright and related rights legislation that applies to your use. For other uses you need to obtain permission from the rights-holder(s).