The Black Woman is God x EBX
On April 23, Beyoncé released an album that some would argue forever changed the way Black women see themselves.
Lemonade, an hour-long docu-style music video explained as “a conceptual project based on every woman’s journey of self-knowledge and healing,” presented Beyonce in concert with a brilliant array of Black and brown women. For many, it felt like a first-time reach into hundreds of years’ worth of Black girl magic and magnanimity, portraying the bodies, memories, hopes, and histories of women in relationship to the world around them — more specifically in relationship with their men and children.
While a number of women were moved by seeing reflections of their most intimate thoughts and struggles at the forefront of mainstream media, many viewers were even more moved by the homage and intertextuality insisted upon through an evocation of centuries worth of Black women’s creativity. Though it might have been the first time mainstream America witnessed the creative lens of the Black woman turned in on herself, it was not the first time Black women had reflected upon themselves as a connective, generative force. Lemonade would not have been possible without a longstanding global endeavor to “revere the Black woman,” as termed by jazz musician Abbey Lincoln in 1966.
Now, Oakland artists and curators Karen Seneferu and Melorra Green are presenting The Black Woman is God: Reprogramming that God Code at SOMArts (934 Brannan St., San Francisco), an interdisciplinary show featuring work by more than sixty artists that, too, reveres the Black woman — and it couldn’t be more timely.