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News and Culture

Why Rue's Character on 'Euphoria' is Important

Morgan Brittani

Everyone is talking about Rue from Euphoria after last week’s episode. And we are ready for tonight’s season finale.

Photo via HBO

Photo via HBO


This whole season, we have been on a rollercoaster as we’ve experienced the ups and downs of Rue. A high schooler and newly clean drug addict. Euphoria has shown us a little bit of Rue’s life before drugs but we are still getting to know her episode by episode.

We see Rue struggling but clinging onto her friendship with Jules to cope with her new drug free life. However, in episode 7 when Jules went to visit her friends from her old town Rue was sent into a depressive state. Rue knowing that Jules was sad due to something that Nate had done sent her to a space where she watched a British Reality Show and layed in bed all day long.

Photo via HBO

Photo via HBO

In episode 7, we also find out that Rue suffered from Depression way before the drugs and was on medication to help treat her condition. Which makes sense. Several drug addicts use their drugs as a way to cope with their mental health condition. Noticing that when they are on drugs they are less likely to feel the highs and lows of depression.

Which is something Rue discusses in her narration of this episode when she ends up saying:

“You know the thing about depression is— it kinda collapses time. Suddenly, you find your whole days blending together to create one endless suffocating loop. You try to remember the things that make you happy but slowly your brain starts to erase everything that ever brought you joy.”

After last week’s episode, I have a better understanding of not only Rue but Depression. I felt heard through the visuals shown and thankful for Zendaya being able to show us what depression can look and feel like.

Overall, I am excited to see what Rue will do in episode 8.

Justin Bieber Seeks Treatment for Depression — And That's Okay

Morgan Brittani

It has been reported that Justin Bieber has started treatment for his depression.

A Bieber source tells People Magazine that this has nothing to do with his marriage to wife, Hailey (Baldwin) Bieber. However, one source does tell People that, “Justin seems down and tired. He has been struggling a bit.”

Justin Bieber and Wife, Hailey Bieber on the March Vogue Cover

Justin Bieber and Wife, Hailey Bieber on the March Vogue Cover

The couple was recently featured on the March edition of Vogue Magazine as seen in the image above. Other celebrities have shared how they had to also navigate through hard times of feeling depressed while maintaining a marriage.

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Will Smith has talked in the past about how it is “unrealistic” to try to make your spouse happy and how that is something that they must find on their own.

In the meantime, we hope that Justin Bieber starts to feel better soon and we are proud of him. It is A-Okay to get help when you are not feeling okay.

If you are reading this and feel like you need help as well. Do not be afraid to seek that help. Even if it is taking that first step and telling someone that you are hurting.


Iyalua Pope

‘God, why did you allow me to see it?’ And I hear God saying ‘because I needed you to change it.’

Sarah Jakes Roberts

This piece is intended for the girls who are still to afraid to speak. For the girls desperately trying to heal. Not just the victims of privileged celebrities, but of Uncles and Cousins and Family Friends and Men in the house at that childhood sleepover you never forgot. I hear you, I see you. I am you. You will make it. Keep pushing through.

On a very large scale, the controversy surrounding the docuseries, Surviving R. Kelly has exposed the attitude of the black community towards sexual violence on it’s very own. Although we all knew (because let’s be real, either we know someone who has been sexually abused or we are someone who has), it’s still unreal seeing people make certain comments and behave as if their way of thinking is not convoluted.

Sexual violence against black girls is allowed to persist because the black community allows it to. The morale of the community preps the victim to be a victim with it’s traditional and operational loopholes, facilitates the violence and then turns it’s back on the victim by choosing not to believe her or worse by just sweeping the whole incident under the rug.

I hate how Black people raise their children. They do not honor the voices of children. The entire ‘don’t talk back, speak when spoken to’ narrative is disgusting. It normalizes science exists because the adults are powerless and insecure in their own worlds (think about this, the average black family doesn’t even own the home they live in, much less owning properties outside of the one they do live in. They have no way to make money other than to trade their time for it. Most are lazy in the mind). And children are the only beings that they are superior over strictly because of age.

A Practical Guide to Untrigger Yourself 
Have you ever heard the Malcolm X quote, “The most disrespected person in America is the Black woman. The most unprotected person in America is the Black woman. The most neglected person in America is the black woman.” 

Sure you have. 

I’m here to tell you it’s true. No one comes to protect you, respect you, or make sure you’re not feeling neglected. You’ve gotta do it yourself. And sure, sometimes you feel all alone. But I’m here to let you know that you are not. Healing may feel like the very last thing you want to do, but you’ve got big work to do. You’ve got kids to take care of, a business to run or you just gotta survive. 

So, I want to offer some tips to help you when you’re feeling stuck. When you feel like your trauma is getting the best of you. 

#1:  Admittance & Acceptance

The very last thing you want to do when something harmful is done to you is deny it. Denying it delays the healing process. And as the old adage goes, “don’t put off until tomorrow, what you can do today.” Furthermore, why would you let someone’s actions toward you make a feel way and not address it? To yourself at the very least? 

Love yourself enough to accept that you’ve been harmed. It happened. It can’t unhappen. And you’re on your way to guaranteeing that it never happens again. 

Admit and accept because you do not any extra emotional trauma upon yourself. What you already feel is enough to handle. And you need to handle it so you can get on with life. 

#2: Cut off all Contact with that Person 

This is self explanatory but I will say this, he or she does not feel any remorse for their actions. They do not even see that what they did was wrong. And you don’t need that negative energy in your life.

#3: Take Inventory of your Emotional State 

What exactly are you feeling right now? Acknowledge that. Allow them to stay for a little while, but let them know they can’t stay forever. 

I recommend Lisa Nichol’s method as a useful exercise to complete this step:

#4: Confrontation

It’s eviction time for those negative feelings. (I know you probably thought I meant confront the person. Nah I wouldn’t confuse you like that.)

There are many ways you can let it out. You can write a letter and burn it, you can go to the top of the mountain & cry. You can do yoga, dance, take a spiritual bath, whatever you feel you want to do. And once you’re done, leave them there. 

#5: Channel:

At times, the triggers may come. Don’t deny them. Instead, just channel that energy for good. Do something creative, exercise, cook, clean or do something to take care of your emotional well being. Whatever you do, make sure you’re good. 

This process is about self compassion. You have to be extra protective of your heart and your mind, not just now but always. Take care of yourself. Admit & accept because you wan to commit to healing. Take inventory of your emotional state because you need to release. Finally, confront and channel because you need to move on in life. And you’ve got big things to do. Stay strong black girl. 

Mariah Carey Reveals She Has Bipolar Disorder: "I didn't want to believe it."

Morgan Daniels

Photo by Billboard

Photo by Billboard

This week in PEOPLE, superstar, Mariah Carey reveals that she has been battling Bipolar Disorder since 2001. Bipolar disorder is a disorder associated with episodes of mood swings ranging from depressive lows to manic highs. Carey says for years she just, "didn't want to believe it."

In this candid interview, Carey says "until recently I lived in denial and isolation and in constant fear someone would expose me," she said. "It was too heavy a burden to carry and I simply couldn't do that anymore. I sought and received treatment, I put positive people around me and I got back to doing what I love -- writing songs and making music."

She also shares that she is now seeking therapy and taking the necessary medication for bipolar II disorder. Stating that her medication is working well and  "It's not making [her] feel too tired or sluggish or anything like that," And that "Finding the proper balance is what is most important."

Photo by People Magazine

Photo by People Magazine

On Wednesday, Mariah Carey tweeted the cover of the magazine. Simply Stating, "I'm grateful to be sharing this part of my journey with you."

Carey is hopeful that "...we can get to a place where the stigma is lifted from people going through anything alone," because "It can be incredibly isolating. It does not have to define you and I refuse to allow it to define me or control me."

Read full article here

How Hip-Hop Is Tacking The Issue of Mental Illness

Gabeal Davis

Via Medium

Via Medium

As of late, mental health has become more of a common topic in the media. It’s reported that the suicide count is rising, making it the 10th cause of death in the U.S. as of this year. Over the years suicide, depression, and addiction has become some of the most prominent topics among hip-hop artists. Because of this, some listeners attribute their lives being saved by these lyrics and songs. Being able to have the feeling that you are not alone in a situation is what people need to have to help get over their situation.

Discussing Suicide

One of this year’s top songs is Logic’s “1-800-273-8255“, named after the phone number for the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline. On the track Logic shows that suicide is never the answer to anyone’s problems. The purpose of this track is to let people to know that there is always help available  and that it’s just a phone call away.

via Pinterest

via Pinterest

On his breakout hit “XO TOUR Llif3,” Lil Uzi Vert sung about  contemplating committing suicide over a failing relationship and how he turned  to drugs, specifically Xanax, to give him peace.  His latest album, Love is Rage 2, is filled with songs inspired by his struggles with his past relationship and coping with the fact that it’s virtually over.

Kid Cudi the Ambassador of Talking Mental Health Issues in Hip-Hop music.

One of the most prominent artist to discuss his mental health issues has been Kid Cudi. On his 2008 mixtape, A Kid Named Cudi, he candidly spoke about how he felt alone and that his mind is always racing. He also speaks about dying and his funeral.  With this mixtape and the albums that followed Cudi’s music have been credited for helping save some of his listener’s lives. Pete Davidson and Travis Scott have been some of the bigger names to credit his music for helping them cope with life.

via The Breakfast Club

via The Breakfast Club

Since Hip-Hop/R&B is now the most listened to genre in the world artists now how more influence than ever before on their listeners. With talking about their struggles instead of bragging about frivolous things becoming more common music, more people are becoming aware of how important talking about mental health and getting help really is.

Banner Image via L.A. Weekly, Shane Loes


Bryan Patterson

Getty Images

Getty Images

2017 seems to be the year of bad news. Natural disasters, sexual harassment cases, death tolls, and Tyrese have left a lot of people emotionally exhausted. 'I'm sorry,' doesn't feel genuine anymore, just like 'I love you,' doesn't mean what it used to. It's almost as if forgiveness isn't granted nowadays -- it's assumed.  Being bombarded with so many provoking situations has desensitized a lot of us. Before we can process one event, we're side swiped by three more tragedies. It seems like this year forced us to forget how to FEEL.

On November 6th, PBS premiered the highly anticipated 'Chasing Trane' documentary about John Coltrane -- a man who revolutionized how people interpreted Jazz with the sound of his saxophone. There was a point in Coltrane's life where he made a pivotal turn both in his life and in his career. It's documented that when he recorded his most successful album, 'A Love Supreme,' in 1965, he was in tune with himself, his music, and God. One of the reasons why he's so revered is because he made people FEEL.

via PBS

via PBS

The differences between 1965 and 2017 are vast. There are new tools, different norms, and another climate. The common thread that runs through these differences is time. Instead of streaming any song you want with your thumb, the kids of the 60's had to go to the store, buy a vinyl record, go home, load the vinyl onto a record player, place the needle on the record and pray that it didn't scratch before their parent's got home. The process is what made the time beautiful. In 2017, we don't have time to process. We forgot how to FEEL.

This time of the year is when people start evaluating and planning how to become a better version of themselves. In regards to being in tune with yourself, the best thing you can do is take the necessary time to process. Read the news instead of watching it. Buy an album you love. Call somebody that you text all the time. Cry. Take time to heal. Go to the gym before you think about surgery. Cook instead of ordering Postmates. Pick a day to go to the movies instead of watching Netflix. 

Whatever you do, take the time to FEEL.

via Gabrielle Cidras

via Gabrielle Cidras

Banner Image by Getty Images.

Ms. America, the Bag Lady

Bryan Patterson

“Bag lady, you gon’ hurt your back draggin’ all them bags like that…”

I haven’t been watching football this season. Part of it has to do with my frustration regarding the fact that Colin Kaepernick has yet to be employed by the NFL. But mostly, I’m just tired. My Sundays have been replaced by good food, minimal company, and a continuous playlist of Erykah Badu (‘Bag Lady’ stays in rotation).

Photo by Getty Images

Photo by Getty Images

I haven’t been watching the news. Every day since the beginning of 2016, each news outlet has made a daily routine of showcasing the circus that this nation has now become. America is a Mary-go-round that I am no longer excited by. I’m tired. I haven’t posted on Instagram or Facebook in months. Whenever I would log in to scroll through my timeline, all I see is friends, family and strangers screaming to be heard.. The crazy part is that we’re all arguing over the same things.

“One day all them bags gon’ get in your way…”

Photo by Getty Images

Photo by Getty Images

Have you ever woken up one morning, rushing to make the most out of each minute of your day, and JUST as you're about to leave you can’t find your keys? Have you ever turned over every piece of your furniture and suddenly realized how much of a mess you’ve made to find them? It’s a random analogy, but I truly believe this country has lost it’s house keys and is currently flipping over the furniture.

In the case of Colin Kaepernick, he made news by calling attention to an issue that has been swept under the rug for quite some time. In the Declaration of Independence, it was written that all men are created equal. It is also written that each human has the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. Those who oppose the former 49er quarterback argue that kneeling during the anthem disregards the blood of the fallen soldiers who stood on the frontline for this country. Supporters of Kaepernick are saying that the red on flag we salute represents the blood of fallen soldiers from the likes of Tamir Rice and Mike Brown also. The main difference between them and army veterans is that they were kids who didn’t sign up to defend the country that repossessed their lives. Kaepernick has decided that he won’t stand for it any longer.

“Pack light…”

With that being said,  I don’t think this country is a bad house to live in. All I believe is that we’ve acquired too much furniture and lost sight of our values. How are police officers legally murdering civilians and receiving paid leave with no indictment? How has the most divisive presidential candidate of the 21st century been chosen to lead the United States of America? How does Steve Bisciotti, the owner of the Baltimore Ravens, make the decision to not hire Colin Kaepernick, but he releases a statement saying that he supports the current demonstrations of the Ravens that choose to kneel during the anthem?

“I bet you love could make it better...”

Photo by ESPN

Photo by ESPN

The decision I’ve made in the midst of all the noise has been to spend more time listening than talking. I’m working to understand people with different views while not compromising my own. Even though I’ve listened to the new Eminem freestyle at least ten times today, that language and aggressive energy will only make us tired. I need to sit and understand how scary it can be for my cousin to risk his life as a police officer, just like I currently understand the frustration of my friend who's the son of Keith Lamont Scott.

That’s what I believe this country needs. Understanding. There are a lot of people screaming over one another right now. Listening is the only way unpack all of this baggage and get back to the keys we came in the house with. We need love.

Banner Photo by Gerry Melendez for ESPN

Using Your Emotions To Move Forward In Life

Gabeal Davis

Photo by GIPHY

Photo by GIPHY

Moving forward is hard to do when it comes to dealing with certain things in life. Whether it is a bad breakup, losing a job, or just dealing with the day to day struggles of life, finding the motivation to move on can feel almost impossible at times.

As creatives, we must find a way to channel that negative energy into something positive instead of allowing ourselves to drown in our sorrows. I am guilty of falling into this state, but somehow I find a way to move on and use the negative energy to my advantage and you can too. Here’s how I manage to move forward and create.

Use Your Emotions To Spark Creativity While You’re Moving Forward

Photo by GIPHY

Photo by GIPHY

When I was starting out blogging back in 2006 there was no real direction in what exactly to write. So I focused more on writing about the events that were going on in my life on the daily. Whether it was me sharing about something amazing that happened, random thoughts that came to mind, or a disappointment, I used my emotions to spark the creativity in topics for my personal blog.

Some of my best work came more from the negatives in my life than the positives because of the raw emotions I shared.

Think of it this way. Most people love artists like Mary J. Blige and Keyshia Cole at the time when they were singing more about their heart breaks.

For them, it was a release and a way to move on from the situation, for others, it was good music and something that helped others move on from a similar predicament. As creatives also have the same power to move on and help others to move forward through our gifts by moving forward ourselves.

Photo by GIPHY  

Photo by GIPHY  

Creatives are some of the most influential people out there. Even though we struggle in our lives we must move forward because through our work we can inspire generations.

GIANTS: A Millennial Web-Series Discussing Mental Health + Social Issues

Jalyn Harden

Photo by Giants

Photo by Giants

Earlier this year, Jussie Smollet and Issa Rae teamed up to give us a new web series on YouTube titled, Giants. Directed by James Bland, who also stars as Malachi, is joined by the talented Vanessa Baden and William Catlett in this authentic + thrilling drama. The series follows the three Black millennials in Los Angeles as they start out the first season face to face with their “giants,” which show up as the show’s main themes of mental health, sexuality, as well as systemic racism.

The show aims to discuss issues that affect the African-American community, while adding distinct voices + characters to challenge and face those issues head-on. Malachi and Journee are best friends of the opposite sex, dealing with real life economic struggles and mental health issues. Journee fights to “win the day” with her diagnosis of manic depression, while Malachi finds himself through trying different paths of work. Small talk of Ade’s sexuality, played by Catlett, leaves him feeling unempowered and trying to "prove" himself. 

Photo by Giants

Photo by Giants

"Its' different! It's not the same thing as wanting to do something or not wanting to do something. Some days, I physically cannot get out -  I'm a manic depressive! Candace, you know this. It's an illness."

"Its an excuse," she replies.

The entire first season, I watched while I was getting ready for work one morning. Each episode is about 5-20 minutes; powerfully created to spark conversation on how communities of color can express ourselves across the sexuality spectrum and support mental health diagnoses without stigmatization. I admire the way our new + seasoned Black writers, producers, directors - also including everyone behind the scenes, have made it their mission to put people on the screen who look like us. We're finally bringing new messages about people of color and culturally disregarded topics. Shout out to the thinkers behind the new messages we’re sending to viewers all over the world about Black culture and our people.

Photo by Giants

Photo by Giants

I fully support the cast and the series to its’ entirety. If you haven’t already watched it online, you can find it here. There is a also donation set up to fund season 2, as Season 1 was fully funded by the crew. If you have watched it, what are your thoughts? Comment them below!

Until next time, 


4:44, I Apologize

Morgan Daniels

Photo by GIPHY

Photo by GIPHY

When I first heard that Jay-Z had released 4:44, I was excited. However, last night when I saw Lemonade trending on twitter, I got confused. "Lemonade? Why is lemonade trending isn't it Jay-Z that came out with a new album?" Those were just some of the many thoughts going through my head.

See, Lemonade was healing for a girl that had gotten her heart broken by the man she thought she loved. Lemonade for some is a refreshing drink on a hot summers day. For me, Lemonade had a deeper meaning. When Beyonce dropped that album, Lemonade became soul food. See I heard Lemonade and knew I'd be alright. I knew it wasn't my fault.

I knew one day, "I'd heal and it would be glorious."

Photo by GIPHY

Photo by GIPHY

But, I digress this isn't about Lemonade this is about 4:44. The apology. The apology so many black women needed but never got. The words that turned a healing into a full recovery. The words that reminded us once more, "We are love."

Jay-Z said, "I apologize to all the women who's emotions I toyed with because I was emotionless. I apologize 'cause at your best you are love."

I was emotionless. These words take me back. I remember I wanted to see the one that hurt me feel the same pain that I was feeling.

Photo by Tidal

Photo by Tidal

I did not know if it was right or wrong of me to feel that way. That's just how I felt. 4:44 made three words pop in my head: Accountability, Healing, and Vulnerability.

1. Accountability. After listening to 4:44, I realize like Jay-Z we must hold ourselves accountable. It's more than saying I am sorry. It is showing you are sorry. It is getting to the root of why you did what you did. It is understanding that cheating is deeper than cheating. Cheating happens because of something within.

Jay-Z said, "I was emotionless." A part of me wants to ask him, why?

2. Healing. The moral of the story is simple. People hurt people. People cheat on other people. People lie to people they love. But we must remember that our situation does not have to be our destination. We must sort through our emotions, seek counseling, figure it out. We have the power to change if we really want to.

3. But overall, 4:44, was vulnerability. Sometimes we have to be vulnerable for our loved ones to truly understand us.

Sometimes we have to be vulnerable so that we too can recover, even if it's from ourselves.


Jalyn Harden




I feel like I’m out of my mind

It feel like my life ain’t mine

Who can relate?

Under New Releases, a song titled a 1-800-273-8355 caught my attention in the midst of my morning commute. I was intrigued, yet confused. So of course, I had to listen. I cranked up the volume + listened the lyrics as Logic poetically spoke about the thoughts + feelings of suicide. I immediately took heed, as he bluntly revealed in the chorus:

I don’t wanna be alive

I just wanna die today

I just wanna die

The artists in the song take the challenge of expressing emotions through music. I believe the lyrics were as real as it gets. It’s not always this easy to articulate the mental states of suicide into words + that’s exactly what the songwriter did. Job well done - for making us feel the reality of those suffering in silence. 

I've been praying for somebody to save me, no one's heroic

And my life don’t even matter

I know it I know it I know I'm hurting deep down but can’t show it

This first verse presents Logic as someone seeking help. It attempts to bring awareness to mental health from a different avenue. Often times, individuals display warning signs, actions + statements, that aren’t always as revealing as the true nature of their underlying issues. I believe this song is an outlet, or inspiration, for individuals to use their voices. 

It’s holding on, though the road’s long

And seeing light in the darkest things


Alessia Cara’s voice charismatically uplifts the spirit of the individual. Her verse acknowledges that there’s good + bad, or yin + yang, for everything in life. In the darkest of moments, when you’re alone with your thoughts, be your own light + use your words (through whatever form you choose) to foster your healing process. If it’s not you, but it’s someone you know who may be going through suicidality or thoughts of harming others, you are just as important. 

Suicide is taboo. It’s feared + quietly talked about in our society. It’s not uncommon for people to think that if someone brings up the topic of suicide, that they might just “push” someone to the edge. In most cases, this is not true. We can use allies + support to change the conversation around mental health. The worst thing to do is be silent and invalidate someone’s feelings of hurting themselves. By developing the courage to have a conversation + ask an individual, “Are you well?” just may be the question to spark their internal dialogue to speak up + out regarding their well-being.

I know where you been, where you are, where you goin’

I know you’re the reason I believe in life

What’s the day without a little night?

It can be so hard

But you gotta live right now

You got everything to give right now

By the third verse, I knew I was going to have to press Repeat. Thank you, Logic, for defying pop culture + using your platform in a different light. Remember - it is okay to seek help! It’s important also to stay grateful in the process for all that you do have, especially the experiences + people that bring you JOY!

Additional Info:

If you or someone you know is experiencing a mental health crisis, The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is a free + confidential hotline for those experiencing emotional distress. You may also call the hotline or check out the website for information on suicide prevention + resources for you or your loved ones.

Until next time,

Jalyn Tai 

King Bey and Black Womanhood

Simone Reynolds

As I sit in my small antique dorm in Charleston, Illinois, I reflect on my Blackness. I find myself doing this everyday in the same spot. Even when Taylor Swift is blasting across the hall, I still hear my analytical thoughts about Blackness and being a Black woman.

A couple of weeks ago, I felt extremely out of place. I needed to go into a space of belonging. I went to the campus library and analyzed a few sections of  the film, Lemonade. During my analysis, I noticed that the main focus was not on Jay Z’s infidelity but on the power of Black Womanhood. Beyoncé has influenced Black Womanhood in 2016 with her latest project. She creates a platform for Black female artist, promotes self-healing, and displays some of the issues Black women face with Black men.

Photo by GIPHY

Photo by GIPHY

Beyoncé is an advocate and supporter of marginalized women of color's artistry, especially those who specialize in literature and visual art. The use of poetry has a great impact on the film. According to Amanda Hess of the New York Times, Warsan Shire, a  British-Somali poet's verses are the "backbone" of Beyoncé's album. Warsan Shire's poems are featured in each section  of  the film.

Hess also mentions how Lemonade has opened doors for Warsan in pop culture. There is also a lot of use of imagery. Miriam Bale of Hollywood Reporter refers to Lemonade as a "womanist" fairytale-featuring American Southern, Voodoo, and Afrofuturist utopian imagery. This is shown during the songs 'Daddy Lessons', 'Don't Hurt Yourself', and 'Sorry'. Of course getting exposure from one of the biggest pop stars is great, but let's be clear. Self-healing is the root of it all. It is extremely fundamental to Black womanhood. The imagery of certain scenes are a reflection of self-healing. According to the scenes ‘Intuition’ and 'Reformation', Beyoncé promotes this a lot.

Photo by Lemonade Film

Photo by Lemonade Film

Beyoncé, along with a group of nine Black women dressed in all white, wade in the water as the sun sets. Miriam Bale mentions one of Beyoncé's "secret weapons", Julie Dash, the director of  'Daughters of the Dust', a film where women preserve the traditions of African culture in southern America. This scene symbolizes resistance with the use of the slave revolt.

The women are on the journey to drown themselves to end their misery of being hurt. The imagery of certain scenes are a reflection of self-healing. The words spoken also mirror self-healing. In the scene of ‘Denial’, Beyoncé says, “I fasted for 60 days, wore white, abstained from mirrors, abstained from sex, slowly did not speak another word”.  She encourages self care and spirituality to be tools of understanding. During this scene, she is under water.

Water symbolizes cleansing and purity. This proves that some Black women have always found a way to "fix" themselves in order to fix a relationship. Black women face a great amount of issues when it comes to relationships with Black men. Whether if it's their father, husband, or son, Black women have difficulties with them in different ways. Based on the scene 'Anger' , we can understand the difficulties Black women face in relationships with their male spouses or partners.

Photo by GIPHY

Photo by GIPHY

During this scene, Beyoncé says and does some powerful things. It begins with a visual of Black women connected through the sleeves of their dresses swaying in different directions and intertwining with one another. This shows the transformation of compliance to rebellion. The women are transforming into the stage of anger and being "fed up". 'Anger' is directed towards "the other halves" of Black women. Beyoncé uses a voice over of Malcolm X saying, “The most disrespected person in America is the Black woman.” She is putting emphasis on the disrespect Black women receive, and it is being said by a Black man. Tyler Goodridge of Georgetown's Communication, Culture, and Technology program, gives us "the tea". She talks about the repetitive pattern that is shown throughout history between Black women and men.

From the Civil Rights era to the Black Panther Party, and today's Black lives matter movement, Black women are always expected to love, honor, and protect Black men, but they do not receive that in return. In the scene 'Accountability', Beyoncé discusses her father teaching her how not to trust men through his own behavior. She says, “When trouble comes in town and men like me come around, my daddy said shoot”.  This means that Beyoncé's father warns her of men who will do her wrong, because he has done it before. Her father's actions of cheating on her mother are problematic yet helpful to her understanding of how Black women are treated by Black men. During the 'Resurrection' scene, we notice the familiar faces of the Black Lives Matter movement, the mothers of Trayvon Martin, Eric Garner, and Michael Brown.

Photo by GIPHY

Photo by GIPHY

All three mothers are holding the photos of their deceased sons. The women's faces are very blank and stern. This shows us how Black women tend to be the ones who carry the burdens of Black death. Black women spend so much time building and nurturing their sons, and one day it all changes. Due to senseless police brutality, they are not able to continue to watch their sons grow.

All in all,  Lemonade has had a great impact on Black womanhood. Beyoncé has created a platform for Black women, promoted self-healing, and displayed the struggles of Black women's relationships with Black men. Towards the end, there is a little footage of Hattie White, Jay Z's grandmother's 90th birthday party. She says something very profound, which turns into a metaphor. Ms. Hattie says, "I was always served lemons, but I made lemonade." Black women have always been given the lemons of pain, but they always seem to make lemonade which is strength. Beyoncé has made such a great impact on Black womanhood. She continues to uplift and share the stories of Black women.

Photo by GIPHY

Photo by GIPHY

Mental Matters at Georgia State University

Morgan Daniels

The JOYday Movement was graced to have been able to speak with the students of Georgia State University this past Wednesday. Having these candid conversations about our mental health are necessary. We were able to heal together as we spoke about our "Mental Matters."

We had a lot of deep conversations about letting go, relationships, toxicity, and much more.

However, one thing that I kept with me was when someone said, "We can not burn bridges because we do not know if one day we should cross them once more." This is very true in life. Never let any situation get you out of character because you never know what the future may hold.

In closing, thank you HerCampus GSU and India Kelly for hosting us.

Attached are some photos from this fabulous event:

Mental Health Discussion at Emory University

Morgan Daniels

The JOYday Movement was able to speak to the students of Emory University yesterday. Being an African-American in a PWI (Predominately White Institution) can be tough, however, with the help of Jalyn Radziminski we were able to create a safe space for the students of color.

We called the event "healing the heart." During this time, we were able to share our mental health stories in a safe place. Something that we believe that we should do more often.

Someone said that they just wanted to, "reunite with [them]selves."

Attached are some photos from the event & thank you all coming out: