Do you need aid in understanding Beyonce’s Lemonade?
Well now you’ve got a hearty list of source material in the form of the Lemonade Syllabus.
In five days, the free, online document that deconstructs the many literary, historical and social references in Beyonce’s video album, has been downloaded by 40,000 readers.
Interest has grown so much, that the document’s curator, Candice Benbow posted on Instagram that anyone charging for the syllabus is not legit. She also noted that she is not personally affiliated with the Lemonade Syllabus book clubs popping up around the country.
What is this all about? Let’s start at the beginning.
In late April, Beyonce released her visual album which featured themes of marital discord, racism, feminism and more as presented through historical, literary and social references as well as Beyonce’s new music.
Everyone has been trying to figure out what it all means.
To help viewers who began looking for resources to understand all of these themes, Benbow sent out a call through the hashtag #LemonadeSyllabus. Via social media, women offered up books (historical, cultural, literary, etc.) films, songs, poetry, photography and more — mostly created by black women — that reflect the themes in Lemonade.
The result is 200 resources from 75 contributors compiled into an online magazine — with space to record the date that you’ve read each book.
While viewers may never be sure exactly what Bey was thinking when she created Lemonade, it probably can’t hurt to gain a deeper understanding of the history behind it.