Beyoncé debuted her new visual album, Lemonade, with an hour-long musical film on HBO Saturday night, then released it via Tidal shortly after. The superstar singer spilled lots of truth about her marriage to Jay Z, as well as the relationship between her parents, Matthew and Tina Knowles. In the final section of the film, titled "Redemption," Beyoncé recites words about her late grandmother, Agnéz Deréon:
Take one pint of water, add half pound of sugar
The juice of eight lemons, the zest of half lemon
Pour the water from one jug, then to the other several times
Strain through a clean napkin
Grandmother, the alchemist
You spun gold out of this hard life
Conjured beauty from the things left behind
Found healing where it did not live
Discovered the antidote in your own kitchen
Broke the curse with your own two hands
You passed these instructions down to your daughter
Who then passed it down to her daughter.
Throughout the film, imagery of a Southern plantation home is featured, as well as actual home video footage of Beyoncé and her family — one such clip shows Jay Z's grandmother Hattie White speaking to the crowd during her 90th birthday party, which the couple attended in April 2015. During the speech, Hattie says, "I had my ups and downs, but I always find the inner strength to pull myself up. I was served lemons, but I made lemonade."
Beyoncé paid tribute to both women with her album title while also referencing the sweet, sugary drink that has brought women in the South together for centuries. Lemonade speaks to the curveballs that life throws at black women and celebrates the strength and resiliency it takes to overcome those challenges.