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Focusing on Rachel Roy Diminishes The Power Of ‘Lemonade’

Over the weekend Queen Bey blessed us with the release of her one-hour concept film for “Lemonade,” a breathtaking album that, at its core, is a love letter to black women everywhere.

There is so much to unpack, from the images of the mothers of Michael Brown, Trayvon Martin, and Eric Garner silently holding portraits of their slain sons, to the Malcolm X soundbite that declares, “The most disrespected person in America is the black woman.”

And yet, despite all the intricacies and truths about black womanhood laid bare in “Lemonade,” an overwhelming amount of the conversation surrounding the video and album has hinged on speculation about Jay-Z and Beyoncé’s relationship and, more specifically, trying to identify a woman he allegedly cheated on Beyoncé with, identified in the song “Sorry” as “Becky with the good hair.” Well, if you’re focusing on Becky, then you’re completely missing the point. The point being: “Lemonade” isn’t about who Jay Z cheated on Beyoncé with. It’s about Beyoncé’s strength — and the enduring resilience of black women everywhere.

It’s understandable why people would be preoccupied with Beyoncé, Jay Z, and any potential women he’s cheated on her with. Beyoncé is quite possibly the biggest music star in the world, and she and Jay are the ultimate “power couple.” But this isn’t the first time there have been rumors about Jay Z’s supposed infidelities, with Roc Nation artists Rihanna and Rita Ora both named as his potential mistresses.

And then there’s Rachel Roy, the Indian and Dutch fashion designer who was reportedly the catalyst for the epic elevator fight between Solange Knowles and Jay Z on the night of the 2014 Met Gala. Since the release of “Lemonade,” many people have assumed that “Becky with the good hair” is a reference to Roy (even though “Becky” is a slang term for white women, but OK).

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