Beyoncé in Formation


Book Description

Making headlines when it was launched in 2015, Omise’eke Tinsley’s undergraduate course “Beyoncé Feminism, Rihanna Womanism” has inspired students from all walks of life. In Beyoncé in Formation, Tinsley now takes her rich observations beyond the classroom, using the blockbuster album and video Lemonade as a soundtrack for vital new-millennium narratives. Woven with candid observations about her life as a feminist scholar of African studies and a cisgender femme married to a trans spouse, Tinsley’s “Femme-onade” mixtape explores myriad facets of black women’s sexuality and gender. Turning to Beyoncé’s “Don’t Hurt Yourself,” Tinsley assesses black feminist critiques of marriage and then considers the models of motherhood offered in “Daddy Lessons,” interspersing these passages with memories from Tinsley’s multiracial family history. Her chapters on nontraditional bonds culminate in a discussion of contemporary LGBT politics through the lens of the internet-breaking video “Formation,” underscoring why Beyoncé’s black femme-inism isn’t only for ciswomen. From pleasure politics and the struggle for black women’s reproductive justice to the subtext of blues and country music traditions, the landscape in this tour is populated by activists and artists (including Loretta Lynn) and infused with vibrant interpretations of Queen Bey’s provocative, peerless imagery and lyrics. In the tradition of Roxanne Gay’s Bad Feminist and Jill Lepore’s best-selling cultural histories, Beyoncé in Formation is the work of a daring intellectual who is poised to spark a new conversation about freedom and identity in America.




Beyoncé in the World


Book Description

From Destiny's Child to Lemonade, Homecoming, and The Gift, Beyoncé Knowles-Carter has redefined global stardom, feminism, Black representation, and celebrity activism. This book brings together new work from sixteen international scholars to explore Beyonce's impact as an artist and public figure from the perspectives of critical race studies, gender and women's studies, queer and cultural studies, music, and fan studies. The authors explore Beyoncé's musical persona as one that builds upon the lineages of Black female cool, Black southern culture, and Black feminist cultural production. They explore Beyoncé's reception within and beyond North America, including how a range of performers—from YouTube gospel singers to Brazilian pop artists have drawn inspiration from her performances and image. The authors show how Beyoncé's music is a source of healing and kinship for many fans, particularly Black women and queer communities of color. Combining cutting edge research, vivid examples, and accessible writing, this collection provides multiple lenses onto the significance of Beyoncé in the United States and around the world.




Queen Bey


Book Description

FEATURED IN: Essence • People • Bustle • PopSugar • Refinery 29 • HelloGiggles' • PureWow • Newsday The Ultimate Beyoncé Collectible "Beyoncé fans will eat it up." —People "You don't need to be in the Beyhive to appreciate Queen Bey...Voices including culture critic Luvvie Ajayi and actress and producer Lena Waithe give us a fresh take on Beyoncé, who's arguably the biggest pop star of our time." —Essence Beyoncé. Her name conjures more than music, it has come to be synonymous with beauty, glamour, power, creativity, love, and romance. Her performances are legendary, her album releases events. She is not even forty but she has already rewritten the Beyoncé playbook more than half a dozen times. She is consistently provocative, political and surprising. As a solo artist, she has sold more than 100 million records. She has won 22 Grammys and is the most-nominated woman artist in the history of Grammy awards. Her 2018 performance at Coachella wowed the world. The New York Times wrote: "There's not likely to be a more meaningful, absorbing, forceful and radical performance by an American musician this year or any year soon." Artist, business woman, mother, daughter, sister, wife, black feminist, Queen Bey is endlessly fascinating. Queen Bey features a diverse range of voices, from star academics to outspoken cultural critics to Hollywood and music stars. Essays include: "What Might a Black Girl Be in This World," an introduction by Veronica Chambers "Beychella is Proof That Beyoncé is the Greatest Performer Alive. I’m Not Arguing." by Luvvie Ajayi "On the Journey Together," by Lena Waithe "What Beyoncé Means to Everyone," by Meredith Broussard with visualizations by Andrew Harvard and Juan Carlos Mora "Jay-Z's Apology to Beyoncé Isn't Just Celebrity Gossip — It's a Political Act" by Brittney Cooper "All Her Single Ladies" by Kid Fury "The Elevator" by Ylonda Gault "The Art of Being Beyoncé" by Maria Brito "Getting, Giving and Leaving" by Melissa Harris Perry and Mankaprr Conteh "Beyoncé the Brave" by Reshma Saujani "Living into the Lemonade: Redefining Black Women’s Spirituality in the Age of Beyoncé" by Candice Benbow "Beyoncé’s Radical Ways" by Carmen Perez "Finding la Reina in Queen Bey" by Isabel Gonzalez Whitaker "Beyoncé, Influencer" by Elodie Maillet Storm "The King of Pop and the Queen of Everything" by Michael Eric Dyson "Style So Sacred" by Edward Enninful "The Beauty of Beyoncé" by Fatima Robinson "Because Beyoncé." by Ebro Darden "King Bey" by Treva B. Lindsey "Meridonial: Beyoncé’s Southern Roots and References" by Robin M. Boylorn "B & V: A Love Letter" by Caroline Clarke




The Lemonade Reader


Book Description

The Lemonade Reader is an interdisciplinary collection that explores the nuances of Beyoncé’s 2016 visual album, Lemonade. The essays and editorials present fresh, cutting-edge scholarship fueled by contemporary thoughts on film, material culture, religion, and black feminism. Envisioned as an educational tool to support and guide discussions of the visual album at postgraduate and undergraduate levels, The Lemonade Reader critiques Lemonade’s multiple Afrodiasporic influences, visual aesthetics, narrative arc of grief and healing, and ethnomusicological reach. The essays, written by both scholars and popular bloggers, reflects a broad yet uniquely specific black feminist investigation into constructions of race, gender, spirituality, and southern identity. The Lemonade Reader gathers a newer generation of black feminist scholars to engage in intellectual discourse and confront the emotional labor around the Lemonade phenomena. It is the premiere source for examining Lemonade, a text that will continue to have a lasting impact on black women’s studies and popular culture.




The Beyonce Effect


Book Description

Since her late-1990s debut as a member of the R&B trio Destiny's Child, Beyonce Knowles has garnered both praise and criticism. While some consider her an icon of female empowerment, others see her as detrimental to feminism and representing a negative image of women of color. Her music has a decidedly pop aesthetic, yet her power-house vocals and lyrics focused on issues like feminine independence, healthy sexuality and post-partum depression give her songs dimension and substance beyond typical pop fare. This collection of new essays presents a detailed study of the music and persona of Beyonce--arguably the world's biggest pop star. Topics include the body politics of respectability; feminism, empowerment and gender in Beyonce's lyrics; black female pleasure; and the changing face of celebrity motherhood. Instructors considering this book for use in a course may request an examination copy here.




Thiefing Sugar


Book Description

In Thiefing Sugar, Omise’eke Natasha Tinsley explores the poetry and prose of Caribbean women writers, revealing in their imagery a rich tradition of erotic relations between women. She takes the book’s title from Dionne Brand’s novel In Another Place, Not Here, where eroticism between women is likened to the sweet and subversive act of cane cutters stealing sugar. The natural world is repeatedly reclaimed and reinterpreted to express love between women in the poetry and prose that Tinsley analyzes. She not only recuperates stories of Caribbean women loving women, stories that have been ignored or passed over by postcolonial and queer scholarship until now, she also shows how those erotic relations and their literary evocations form a poetics and politics of decolonization. Tinsley’s interpretations of twentieth-century literature by Dutch-, English-, and French-speaking women from the Caribbean take into account colonialism, migration, labor history, violence, and revolutionary politics. Throughout Thiefing Sugar, Tinsley connects her readings to contemporary matters such as neoimperialism and international LGBT and human-rights discourses. She explains too how the texts that she examines intervene in black feminist, queer, and postcolonial studies, particularly when she highlights the cultural limitations of the metaphors that dominate queer theory in North America and Europe, including those of the closet and “coming out.”




Romancing the Folk


Book Description

In American music, the notion of "roots" has been a powerful refrain, but just what constitutes our true musical traditions has often been a matter of debate. As Benjamin Filene reveals, a number of competing visions of America's musical past have vied fo




Black Diamond Queens


Book Description

African American women have played a pivotal part in rock and roll—from laying its foundations and singing chart-topping hits to influencing some of the genre's most iconic acts. Despite this, black women's importance to the music's history has been diminished by narratives of rock as a mostly white male enterprise. In Black Diamond Queens, Maureen Mahon draws on recordings, press coverage, archival materials, and interviews to document the history of African American women in rock and roll between the 1950s and the 1980s. Mahon details the musical contributions and cultural impact of Big Mama Thornton, LaVern Baker, Betty Davis, Tina Turner, Merry Clayton, Labelle, the Shirelles, and others, demonstrating how dominant views of gender, race, sexuality, and genre affected their careers. By uncovering this hidden history of black women in rock and roll, Mahon reveals a powerful sonic legacy that continues to reverberate into the twenty-first century.




The Color Pynk


Book Description

2023 John Leo & Dana Heller Award for Best Single Work, Anthology, Multi-Authored, or Edited Book in LGBTQ Studies, Popular and American Culture Association (PACA) / Popular Culture Association (PCA) 2023 Honorable Mention, Harry Shaw and Katrina Hazzard-Donald Award for Outstanding Work in African-American Popular Culture Studies, Popular and American Culture Association (PACA) / Popular Culture Association (PCA) A celebration of the distinctive and politically defiant art of Black queer, cis-, and transfemmes, from the work of Janelle Monáe and Janet Mock to that of Indya Moore and Kelsey Lu. The Color Pynk is a passionate exploration of Black femme poetics of survival. Sidelined by liberal feminists and invisible to mainstream civil rights movements, Black femmes spent the Trump years doing what they so often do best: creating politically engaged art, entertainment, and ideas. In the first full-length study of Black queer, cis-, and trans-femininity, Omise’eke Natasha Tinsley argues that this creative work offers a distinctive challenge to power structures that limit how we color, gender, and explore freedom. Tinsley engages 2017–2020 Black femme cultural production that colorfully and provocatively imagines freedom in the stark white face of its impossibility. Looking to the music of Janelle Monáe and Kelsey Lu, Janet Mock’s writing for the television show Pose, the fashion of Indya Moore and (F)empower, and the films of Tourmaline and Juliana Huxtable, as well as poetry and novels, The Color Pynk conceptualizes Black femme as a set of consciously, continually rescripted cultural and aesthetic practices that disrupts conventional meanings of race, gender, and sexuality. There is an exuberant defiance in queer Black femininity, Tinsley finds—so that Black femmes continue to love themselves wildly in a world that resists their joy.




No Walls and the Recurring Dream


Book Description

A NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER "A memoir as fierce, freewheeling, and passionate as her music." --O, the Oprah magazine A memoir by the celebrated singer-songwriter and social activist Ani DiFranco In her new memoir, No Walls and the Recurring Dream, Ani DiFranco recounts her early life from a place of hard-won wisdom, combining personal expression, the power of music, feminism, political activism, storytelling, philanthropy, entrepreneurship, and much more into an inspiring whole. In these frank, honest, passionate, and often funny pages is the tale of one woman's eventful and radical journey to the age of thirty. Ani's coming of age story is defined by her ethos of fierce independence--from being an emancipated minor sleeping in a Buffalo bus station, to unwaveringly building a career through appearances at small clubs and festivals, to releasing her first album at the age of 18, to consciously rejecting the mainstream recording industry and creating her own label, Righteous Babe Records. In these pages, as in life, she never hesitates to question established rules and expectations, maintaining a level of artistic integrity that has inspired and challenged more than a few. Ani continues to be a major touring and recording artist as well as a celebrated activist and feminist, standing as living proof that you can overcome all personal and societal obstacles to be who you are and to follow your dreams.