Written by: Lemeria “Tink” Dueñas
“Every time we get a chance to get ahead, they move the finish line. Every time!”- Janelle Monáe
On Sunday we all watch and held our breaths as the nominees were announced for the “Best Album of the Year” award. The entire world sat in silence, for we all knew that award belonged to Beyonce. And to the world’s astonishment, Adele’s name was called. The eery look of shock on everyone’s faces told the story. Twitter rushed with sheer disappointment and disarray. Could this be happening… again? Everyone thought.
This came as a shock, considering that we all just watched her incredible performance. Beyoncé marveled the stage laced in all gold with twins in her womb, and yet her greatness was denied again. She elegantly expressed her feelings towards being a mother. She starts off by asking the audience if they truly remember being born and if we were grateful for the hips that cracked and to get us here. Her feelings towards motherhood and childbirth is then commenced with the photograph of her mother Tina Knowles Lawson, Beyonce herself, and her daughter Blue Ivy. This shows the beauty, strength, and femininity amongst three generations. She then took it up a notch and performed on a chair that lean back and nearly touched the ground. While still pregnant with her twins. Flowers cascaded around the audience as we were all reminded to be grateful for our mother, and her mother, and all of the mothers in our families that came before them. Beyoncé gave the Grammys what is sure to be top three if not the best Grammy performance of all time and still she lost.
Yes, we can all argue that those types of decisions were calculated long before the committee saw the performance, however, if you truly believe that performances like these and ones that came before are not at all a part of the decision-making process, then you are sadly mistaken. All of this and the most prestigious award of the night was still handed to Adele.
Now Adele is certainly talented, but this is “Album of the Year” we’re talking about. Adele’s entire album had two hit records and it couldn’t even hold a candle to the masterpiece that is Beyonce’s “Lemonade”. Adele herself said, “I can’t possibly accept this award. And I’m very humbled and I’m very grateful and gracious. But my artist of my life is Beyoncé. And this album to me, the “Lemonade” album, is just so monumental. Beyoncé, it’s so monumental. And so well thought out, and so beautiful and soul-baring and we all got to see another side to you that you don’t always let us see. And we appreciate that. And all us artists here adore you. You are our light.”
“And the way that you make me and my friends feel, the way you make my black friends feel, is empowering. And you make them stand up for themselves. And I love you. I always have and I always will. Grammys, I appreciate it. But I will not be accepting this!”
As Adele mentions the pride that her black friends felt while listening to the “Lemonade” album I could only concur with what my suspicions were in the beginning, that this was a classic case of RACISM. Let’s just call it what it is. Beyonce’s album was its expression of pain, love, and an invitation for black women to heal. Quite frankly it’s the soundtrack of a large majority of Black women’s lives. If you are not a Black woman who’s dealt with infidelity or a challenging relationship between you and your father, you’re certainly one that has dealt with the hardships of racism and misogyny. This album was created uplift Black women, and that’s sadly the same reason it lost.
Many will say, “Well what does she expect?” “Make a more mainstream album.” These are just lackluster excuses though, considering that she has done this four times over. And still, no “Best Album of the Year” award to show for it. This wasn’t a “You’re not talented enough so that’s why you didn’t receive this award” statement. This was a “Yeah, you can bring in ratings and perform your heart out, but you didn’t think we would actually give our biggest award of the night to a BLACK woman. Did you?” This was a slap in the face to Beyonce who has undoubtedly created the most riveting album of the year with her little sister Solange’s album “A Seat At The Table” ranking in for a close second.
I wish I could say I’m surprised, but I am certainly am not. It’s not surprising because our race seemingly determines our fate in this country every time. This was a lesson for the public. No matter how much money we make, and what we accomplished in America it seems as though you would never be able to transcend your race. And this is precisely the reason, Beyonce should no longer perform at the Grammys. Because no matter how hard she tries to them should never be good enough, not because of her talent, but because of her race. She shouldn’t bare the burden of allowing them (the academy) to continously dangle this award in front of her. I think it’s time for she and every other Black celebrity to say in the words of J.Cole, “Fuck The Grammys!”
Written by: Lemeria Duenas
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