Beyoncé. Black Madonna. Parvati. Devi. Isis. Osun.

(Unedited) After reading this article I thought this…

It’s funny how I’m not a member of the BeyHive, but I find myself “defending” Bey.

The criticism of her performance last Sunday, at the Grammys, and its allege “deepness,” oh and it not being accessible to all Black womyn or that she was both inappropriately naked and nekkid….yadda yadda yadda…I’ve chosen not to respond to it, but in my head I’ve said, “you haven’t a clue…”

With Lemonade folk been accusing her of co-opting Daughters of the Dust. As artists/creatives we re-imagine and add onto what preceded us, all the time. And. Though I still want Bey to do a stripped down acoustic record and go on an intimate tour without any bells or whistles, I still believe that Lemonade was on some next level ish!

I am a writer. I am a poet. So automatically I seek out the words and the story. And as a music lover, I seek “the pocket” and “the groove.” I am a visual artist as well, so images capture me in a way that sometimes, words cannot. Lemonade as a body of work and even elements that can stand-alone were pleasing and well done.

Lemonade is the ONLY one of her albums that I can listen to from beginning to end. Like I said, I ain’t a Bey fan like that. However, she can put on a hellavu show—seeing her live is a treat.

As for Sunday, as soon as I saw her on the stage, I saw the symbolism. A good art therapist lives in the metaphor and symbolism, and as I posted, on Facebook, then, “Beyoncé. Black Madonna. Parvati. Devi. Isis. Osun. Beyoncé.”

Black artist, especially Black womyn aren’t allowed to grow and evolve. We are placed in a singular box and if we blow the box up, we are crapped on.

Lastly, I never understood why so many expectations have been placed on Bey, she’s expected to be all things Womon/Black as if we are a monolith, or have a single narrative. We don’t. She doesn’t. We got layers. Even down to her pregnancies, let that sista live! Let her be(y).

Bloomfully yours,

nicole jhan’rea


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