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Beyoncé Knowles explores various subject matters in her 2016 visual album Lemonade that are relevant to the current state of affairs in society today. Lyrically, the first forty-five minutes’ address personal topics including her husband’s infidelity and her relationship with her father. The “Freedom” scene, however, is where the lyrics turn from personal to more political. This scene consists of shots that include but are not limited to Beyoncé singing to a crowd of black women while on stage, she and the women who comprised the audience dining under a tree and a closing shot of everyone either sitting on a branch of the aforementioned tree or standing in front of it. The uses of dark settings and black and white lighting and clothing in combination …show more content…
Though the lyrical content of “Freedom” over speaks of empowerment, when they are combined with certain visual aspects, the viewer can see implication of the last presence of slaveryin our society today and the hope that persist despite this presence. The clothing of the women in the audience wear is evocative of the Civil Warperiod, where slavery still in full effect. The tree presentin the scene is reminiscent of the hanging trees where slaves were executed during the same time period. Beyoncé herself has a ghost like glow to her as she stands up on the stage singing about “[breaking] chains all by [herself]”, indicating towards the hardships of slavery of those that came before her had to endure. Considering that this visual album as a whole arguably takes place in modern times, this scene brings together those references of the past with the events of the present. The black and white lighting show the duality of the two colors, signifying the still existing separation between the two races that still exists today. This shows that though slavery has been long abolished, its effects are still felt in current times. The scene does, however, show that even in these dark times, hope is not completely lost. Even though she appears restrained to the spot where she is standing while she sings, Beyoncé sings of freedom and how she will not give up on herself. Like the lights and fires that the illuminated the stage or the lanterns that lit up the banquet table, there is a semblance of hope that endures all the negativity present. This hope is that there is a possibly that change will eventually

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