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Lemonade refreshed my spirit. I didn’t feel exploited, commodified, or powerless, bell hooks.


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I’m a woman that grew up in the church and I’ve has always struggled with my spirituality. For me, Beyonce’s latest work Lemonade is theologically and spiritually freeing. bell hooks missed the spiritually liberating elements of the album when she dismissed it as a simply a commodity.

During winters in Toledo, Ohio, where I grew up, mornings were spent scooping large piles of snow from the car and shoveling our long driveway just to get to school. My mother had trouble almost every morning getting her ’89 Buick to start. But I have the kind of mother that is so devoted to God that every morning she would instruct us to shout “JESUS!” as she turned the ignition. When the car started, we were supposed to say, “Thank you, Lord!” Because of her, in our minds, Jesus could fix anything.

So when my mother told me that she prayed at a church altar for 10 years to save her marriage, I imagined her trying to fix a broken marriage like a car that wouldn’t start.

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