Beyoncé‘s Lemonade video stood out for the inclusion of so many significant faces. From Bey’s family members to women who have survived unthinkable tragedies to famous ones like Amandla Stenberg, Serena William, Blue Ivy, Zendaya and more.
Zendaya – The actress, dancer, and up-and-coming fashion icon has been challenged about her blackness from each side: for seemingly being “not black enough” to portray the late Aaliyah in a biopic, and for being “too black” when she was criticized for rocking faux locks on the red carpet. The actress has since found her stride and is being recongized as a woman who is confident in who she is.
Amandla Stenberg – The actress, feminist, and filmmaker was first criticized when she was cast as Rue in the first installment of The Hunger Games movies (despite Rue not being labeled with a specific ethnicity in the books). Amandla has also been known to speak out on the things that make others uncomfortable, including her choice to wear her hair in its natural state, and being amazing not in spite of her blackness, but because of it.
Quvenzhané Wallis – Quvenzhané is the youngest person to ever be nominated for an Oscar, but has been subjected to derogatory name-calling for portraying Annie as a young, black girl. She has handled the bigoted scrutiny with admirable grace, especially considering her age.
Serena Williams – The 6-time Wimbledon winning tennis player has been criticized for her muscular build, her attitude, and for being named Sportsperson of the Year over a horse—yes, you read that right. Serena is embracing her curves in Lemonade as she dances proudly with Beyoncé in the film.
Winnie Harlow – A model with Vitiligo, Winnie received criticism for not thinking that other people imitating her skin condition as blackface or cultural appropriation, but rather as a form of appreciation. Winnie shows us that there are more than one way to being comfortable in your own skin and your blackness.
Gwen Carr, Eric Garner’s mother – Another mother who lost her son to police brutality. These messages are at once political and personal. Beyoncé has said before that she is not anti-police, but she is against police brutality. The people who protested her message in “Formation” should now hear her loud and clear.
Hattie, Jay Z’s grandmother – It was her voiceover in the film during her 90th birthday party that delivered the following, pivotal words: “I was served lemons, but I made lemonade.”
Lesley McSpadden, Mike Brown’s mother – Lesley, whose unarmed son was also murdered by a police officer, holds up Mike’s picture with tears streaming down her face.
Sybrina Fulton, Trayvon Martin’s mother – Sybrina holds up a photo of her son, whose murder made an entire nation stop and take notice. Beyoncé has paid tribute to Trayvon throughout the years by attending vigils, speaking out against police brutality in her videos, calling for a moment of silence in songs, and calling for prayers on her social networks.
Tina Knowles Lawson, Beyoncé’s mother – The duo released their debut single Drop, which they both wrote and produced, just a few weeks ago. It’s no secret that Beyoncé has a knack for talent, so it’s no surprise that she would sign girls whose style and passion for music seems at once reminiscent of her own and completely unique at the same time.
Chloe and Halle – The duo released their debut single Drop, which they both wrote and produced, just a few weeks ago. It’s no secret that Beyoncé has a knack for talent, so it’s no surprise that she would sign girls whose style and passion for music seems at once reminiscent of her own and completely unique at the same time.
Blue Ivy – The 3-year-old makes countless appearances throughout the visual album. There’s even a quick shot of Beyoncé’s pregnant stomach, debunking those rumors that were swirling around her pregnancy a few years ago.