world loves and hates black women. They hate us, cause they ain’t
us and they want to be us. They imitate our skin, our hair, our
style… The culture vultures have been swarming for centuries, this
is nothing new. But you can’t beat us at being us. It is organic
and intrinsic as evidenced by #BlackGirlMagic, #BlackWomanMagic,
#BlackBoyJoy and #BlackManJoy.
And the recent Black Moon’s
Black Girl/Woman Magic was a blessing courtesy of Miss Solange
But this is not a review… I don’t do
album reviews… This is a gift.
A gift from sisters,
because of sisters…
If you are still referring to
Solange as Beyonce’s “Little Sister” bless your poor, little
heart for you have missed the true magic of Solange. You have missed
her growth as an artist and person. You have missed the layers and
textures and depth of her music. Also, you have been weighed,
measured and been found wanting.
If you are still reveling
from Beyonce’s surprise album Lemonade, then you are not alone.
There have been a million think pieces (still being) written. There
are whole book clubs, classes, and conference panels that were
spawned by that magnum opus. I am still working through the damn
syllabus on all the things I thought I had and knew and didn’t.
what does one have to do with the other besides being sisters,
nothing. Nothing because there is no besides. It is EXACTLY BECAUSE
they are sisters that this is important. It is because in their work
and I judge in their lives we have seen the sisters support each
other. We have heard the music, seen the videos, especially the
infamous elevator video. [Yes, I went there…Because I am almost
positive Lil Sis was Baby D’ing Jay for Big Sis in that elevator.]
Beyond that, the sisters have cultivated and nurtured
themselves as individuals, each seemingly giving the other space to
spread out and into BEing. They are in fact two different people with
two different stories about their lived experience. Isn’t that the
way of sisters (and I am sure brothers…)?
As humans and
siblings we are pieces of a puzzle and as such, how fitting it is
that Beyonce’s Lemonade and Solange’s A Seat at the Table when
fashioned together weave a beautiful, elegant, indignant, melancholy,
sanguine, tender, and enchanting tapestry.
The two pieces,
together, are an invitation…
us to Come, take A Seat At The Table and have some
And I am
fortunate to have a younger sister, Ryan aka Rainey aka Vera The
Second, who got the message and gifted you, me, us with a Playlist-
by that name- that juxtaposes the pieces to perfection.
told us to Get In Formation and Get Information and we did. We got on
line and on-line and we read, talked, cried, revealed and reveled…
Then what. We were there and waiting and in a moment of collective
sadness and she gave us a salve. Lemonade. She walked us through the
process of how to mend our brokenness (not just our romantic
relationships… But our fractured familial relationships, the pieces
we inherited) how to integrate all of the pieces of ourselves, how to
be vulnerable and strong and supple and sweet and hard. We were for
it. In. Formation.
Solange lured us in like a siren,
singing a sweet song about and for us. She called to task everyone
and everything that dared belittle, besmirch, bedraggle us… Singing
her cusses and curses like a Southern Grandmother. You know that
blessing out, that someone may have gotten and not fully understood
because you have to be familial to understand Granny and how she can
cuss you out and offer you a piece of sweet potato pie.
lays one sister’s track next to the other and highlights the beauty
and rawness of the shared experience. One track will give you the
bitterness of lemon and the track on either side of it will assuage
the astringent citrus with a saturation of water and augment the sour
with a dose of sugar.
Pure water for the quenching of the soul
and pure cane sugar to help the medicine go down.
sisters are telling our story, not just the here and now… But the
generations. And my sister is brilliant enough to have laid it out in
sonically brilliant playlist.
Now you have your cool
refreshing drink and a place to be served… Pull up a
Ryan D. Stewart is a HBCU graduated, D9 Greek affiliated, Sophisti-Ratchet, graphic designing, jewelry-making, bourbon drinking, shake-dancing, aspiring photographer, creative genius. A lover, not a fighter… but definitely a cusser. Originally from the Mississippi Delta transplanted to Memphis, TN in 2007.
Her favorite things include FRamily, bacon, office supplies, and shoe-shopping.
@Crim5onViolet – Twitter
@MissRDS – IG