Valdosta State University is now offering a course about Beyonce’s ‘Lemonade’ album and we are totally here for it.
The course, AFAM 3600 E: Black Women in Modern America, started this semester and is being taught by Professor Caterina M. Orr, a Spring 2011 initiate of the Valdosta Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta.
In the course, Orr uses the album as a way to lead students through a path to explore issues through the eyes of numerous other writers, artists, poets, and scholars.
“Course objectives that are more specific to this class are ‘to gain historical perspective of the representation of the black woman’s impact on America; analyze Beyoncé’s Lemonade within the theoretical framework of black feminism; acquire knowledge of the tenets of black feminist theory; understand the influence of slavery in relation to black women’s bodies and how it informed societal views of black women and their sexuality,’” The Spectator quotes Orr saying.
The course was inspired by Candice Marie Benbow’s “Lemonade Syllabus,” a list of resources and essays used help to unpack all of the themes in “Lemonade.”
Students are also introduced to the writings of African-American scholar Bell Hooks that criticize certain aspects of the album. This will be done to highlight different perspectives and intersectionality with the mission of leaving students with a full and complex understanding.
“You cannot be empowered by yourself,” Orr said. “It’s impossible. There has to be someone that you can lean on, that you can talk to, that will hold you up. For me, that is going to be the basis of this course.”