entertainment

The Afro-Caribbean Connection In Beyoncé’s Lemonade You Might Not Have Known About

HBO

Since evolving from Destiny’s Child into a solo artist, Beyoncé has worked with a wide range of female musicians and artists, particularly black women from around the world. There’s the Sugar Mamas , for instance, her 10-piece touring band; her inclusion of Nigerian writer Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s inspiring TEDx Talk about feminism in “Flawless;” and her weaving of Somali-British poet Warsan Shire’s haunting poem about betrayal on Lemonade.

Among that illustrious group? Franco-Cuban sisters Ibeyi.

beyonce-ibeyi-lemonade
Credit: HBO / OkayAfrica

The sisters, Lisa-Kaindé and Naomi, not only appear in Lemonade alongside the likes of Zendaya and Amandla Stenberg, but also had their song, “River,” featured in an Instagram post Beyoncé made to promote her September 2015 Vogue cover. You can watch the video for “River” below, because it’s fantastic and because we love you:

 

Credit: Ibeyi / YouTube

And ~that’s not all.~

There’s a theory snaking its way around the internet that some of the striking imagery Beyoncé employed in Lemonade takes its cues from Santería and other Yoruba-influenced faiths popular across the Caribbean and Brazil, including and very notably in Cuba. In fact, one prominent orisha, Oshun, is mentioned by name in “River.”

“Wemile Oshun, Oshun dede, Alawede Wemile Oshun, moolowo beleru yalode moyewede.”

????

Here’s how Oshun is commonly depicted:

#oshun

A photo posted by Neia (@neialove_) on

Credit: Instagram / neialove_

She’s beautiful, right? Now, notice her gold-colored gown and her proximity to water.

Look familiar?

436176802299279f4255fb53cd0d9b1cc62061e3
Credit: HBO / HuffingtonPost

Lots of people, specifically on Instagram, are making the visual connection between elements in Lemonade — Beyoncé’s yellow Roberto Cavalli gown, a shot of her standing amid streaming water — and the color and element so often associated with Oshun.

Check it out:

Credit: Instagram / kissdababi
Credit: Instagram / thesuarezzz

https://www.instagram.com/p/BEozmapAxi7/

Credit: Instagram / coils_n_curls

Beyonce's #Lemonade is rich with historical and cultural references, but as a seduction devotee, this may be my favorite. In one of the initial scenes, #Beyonce wears a magnificent golden yellow dress, and exits a building engulfed in flowing water. This is a mythological reference to the orisha Oshun. Considered to be the most beautiful of the female orisha's, she exhibits qualities associated with flowing water; she is vivacious, sparkling, and moves with seductive fluidity. As a diety, she reins over eroticism, sensuality, creativity, fertility, and the rivers. Oshun is regarded as a healer of the sick, the bringer of song, music and dance, as well as prosperity and fertility. She is very powerful…In many instances where other Orishas fail, Oshun triumphs, often using her feminine wiles and 'sweetness' to conquer enemies. She is associated with the colors yellow and gold, fans and mirrors, honey, and rivers. Oshun, like Venus, Aphrodite, and Astarte, represents the sacral energy in women. This is the sensual procreative force in every woman that connects her to her sacred ability to arouse, emotionally connect, manifest reality, and ultimately create life. When this energy is active– when we've activated Oshun– we are too like water, fluid, sensual, powerful, life-giving, renewing, creative spontaneous, and completely at ease in the realm of emotion. When we tap into our inner love goddess we attract the kind of love that fills us up, and we begin to manifest the realities we seek. #theseductivewoman #beyhive #feminineenergy #oshun #ochun #santeria #yoruba #ankh #shakti #sacralchakra #feminine #loveadvice #Femininity #sacredfeminine #love #rachelroy #tinalawson #bae #formation

A photo posted by Camille Synclaire* (@theseductivewoman) on

Credit: Instagram / the seductive woman

To paraphrase the poster above: even when others might alter or fail…

“Oshun triumphs.”

giphy
Credit: HBO / jaiyeorie.blogspot.com

Maybe Beyoncé was influenced by her 2013 trip to Cuba? Something to ponder.

Now go check out more of Ibeyi’s music.

tumblr_nw2xo8tmus1r3ptbfo3_540
Credit: Ibeyi / Tumblr

READ: Beyonce Chooses Unlikely Latina Model For Her New Clothing Campaign

What’d you think of Lemonade? And how many times are you going to listen to Ibeyi today? 187,321 times at least, right?

This Former Marine Had To Self-Deport To Mexico Before He Could Become A U.S. Citizen

things that matter

This Former Marine Had To Self-Deport To Mexico Before He Could Become A U.S. Citizen

James Smith / YouTube

Meet Daniel Torres. The former U.S. Marine and Iraq War veteran finally became a U.S. citizen after self-deporting five years ago.

Credit: @DeportedVets / Twitter

Despite being unauthorized to live in the United States, Torres wanted to fight for this country, so he used a false birth certificate to enlist.

11800549_10200786712548073_6389886492669723011_n
Credit: Hector Bajaras / Facebook

“When I enlisted in the Marines, I knew the risks. It was something that could come up; it was something that could come back and hurt me,” Torres told the press outside of San Diego’s U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services’ office. “I was just hoping that I wasn’t going to pay for that mistake for the rest of my life. And now I’m able to finally go home and live the life I feel like I need to.”

Torres was forced to leave the country he loved and defended because of a lost wallet.

11813470_10200786711028035_8613281923755274378_n
Credit: Hector Bajaras / Facebook

The Iraq vet went to the Department of Motor Vehicles to get his lost ID card replaced, but Torres’s story raised enough suspicion that the DMV notified his superiors. The U.S. Marines discovered his immigration status and gave him an honorable discharge.

Torres originally went to France to fight for the Foreign Legion, but he eventually relocated to Tijuana, Mexico.

11825154_10200786711828055_5488595325259237985_n

According to The San Diego Union-Tribune, Torres lost part of his hearing while serving in Iraq, which barred him from serving in the Foreign Legion. As a result, he moved back to TJ, the border city where was born.

It was in Tijuana that Torres got the support from other military vets that were deported after serving.

13007100_1061451500567672_6587591186450721662_n
Credit: Deported Veterans Support House / Facebook

The Deported Veterans Support House, or “the Bunker,”  helps vets adjust to their new country. The organization also provides assistance with food, housing and clothing, while also advocating for legislation that would end the deportation of those who have served.

Living in Mexico didn’t stop Torres from seeking legal status in the country he grew up in. Thanks to a special provision in the 1964 Immigration and Nationality Act, Torres could apply for citizenship because he served during a “time of hostility.”

Credit: @TatianaYSanchez / Twitter

That’s right. Undocumented people who serve in the military during certain times CAN become U.S. citizens after serving, but they have to serve during a time of hostility. Torres’ case was made easier because he wasn’t deported.

Here are the “times of hostility” that would allow undocumented service men and women to become  U.S. citizens if they so choose.

Screen Shot 2016-04-26 at 12.58.10 PM
Credit: uscis.gov

“[D]efending US interest is the one thing I am the proudest of. I did not join the Corps because I wanted an alibi for citizenship, no,” Torres said in an open letter to some haters (seriously). “I will not use my military service as an excuse, I love being a Devildog and I will be one till the day I die. All people who survive know they do so at a risk, the same goes for me; it was a risk to join claiming I was a citizen when I wasn’t, but you know what? I would do it all over again…”

“I just am really, really happy, to be able to finally go home and be here where I feel I belong,” Torres told local media.

Credit: @SDACLU / Twitter

“I’ve missed birthdays, Thanksgivings, reunions, weddings, funerals,” Torres continued in his open letter. “I cannot be there now while my mother struggles with chemotherapy. I do not want your pity or to feel bad for me, but I do want you to know, that we are people, good people.”

Way to go, Daniel.

giphy-15
Credit: The Voice / NBC / The Voice / Giphy

Let’s hope that this conversation will continue so we can help all of our veterans, documented or not.

READ: How these Latino Military Heroes Put Trump to Shame

Share this story with all your friends by tapping that share button below and show them the forgotten faces of the U.S. frontline!

Paid Promoted Stories