#SayHerName Lemonade; My Perspective


In Lemonade Beyonce says my grandmother was an 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 the instructions down to your own daughter. Then she passed it down to her daughter.”

I went to find the a definition

Wikipedia says-Alchemy is a philosophical and protoscientific tradition practiced throughout Europe, Egypt and Asia. It aimed to purify, mature, and
 perfect certain objects

Merridian-Webster says

— a science that was used in the Middle Ages with the goal of changing ordinary metals into gold
 — a power or process that changes or transforms something in a
 mysterious or impressive way

I began to think of my mother, my grandmother, my great aunts and mentors. I also began to wonder if I have taught my five daughters what my maternal ancestors have taught me.

Let’s go back to the first our elders. Do we listen to allow them to give us wisdom? Do we allow them to teach us how they made lemonade out of lemons? How they spoke things into existence. How they purified themselves from the dirt, the unwanted glance, touch, and the things that haunt them in their quiet moments? How they mature and took on adult roles or worked to mature the females and males around them only to be left when they were no longer needed? Lastly, how they continued to look fly as Hell (perfect). NO matter what was occurring in their lives. You wouldn’t see their scars. They were/are alchemists.

I believe sometimes we get to the table with the alchemist/elders and want to prove we belong, instead of listening for the wisdom that they wish to pour out. Instead, of heading the correction they give. We say you are from a different time period, it’s not that way anymore. You’re outdated. What we don’t understand is the game is still the same, oppression is just coming in a different manner. But the skills of the alchemist/elder can still work because of the thinking and creativity behind it.

Some of have lost the alchemy skills because we have forgotten where we came from. We are not searching for our mother’s or grandmother’s garden’s we are looking for the newest house, car, clothes, purse, etc. that our money can buy.

The alchemy of our grandmother’s benefited not just her but her family and community. Our tendency today is to only want alchemy that benefits our inner circle.

So I must begin to teach — I need to teach my girls alchemy. How to turn negatives into positives. How to spin gold out of the hardness, unfairness of life. How to “take what other leave behind or what others may not want and create beautifulness. It begins with their view of themselves because they don’t match the American standard of beauty but they are golden.

Lastly, I hear the Proverbs 31 all over the alchemy of our mothers and grandmothers.

“Honor her for all that her hands have done,
 and let her works bring her praise at the city gate”
 Psalm 31:31

So in the honor of the personal alchemists in my life

 Lola Graham
 Vanessa Fisher
 Bettie Weldon
 Sibbie Jenkins
 Bernice Fisher
 Vergie Weldon
 Mary Rich
 Mary Weldon
 Martha Jenkins
 Daisy Douglas
 Joyce Clayton
 Edna Jenkins
 Louise Jenkins
 Barbara Graham
 Norma Bolling
 Dr. Florence Bey
 Toni Morrison
 Dr. Evelyn Ogletree
 Pat Smith
 Deloris Golden
 Annette Burnam
 Annie Freeman
 Sandra Downs
 Lou Greer
 Dr. Norvella Carter
 Dr. Pat Larke
 Dr. Gwen Webb-Hussain
 Dr. Kamala Williams
 Shelia Kendrick
 Dr. Mary Young
 Dr, Mary Alfred
 Dr. Donna Y. Ford
 Dr. Venus Evans-Winter
 Dr. Cynthia Tyson
 Please share and say the names of the alchemists/elders in your life! (Thanks Cynthia Tyson for the idea).