I heard something disturbing during the #GRAMMYs commentary…

and that’s when I knew Beyoncé wasn’t going to win Album of the Year.

Beyoncé has now lost Album of the Year three times: to Adele, Beck, and Taylor Swift AND I AM PISSED.

In the words of Adele

“What the f — does she have to do to win album of the year?”

I was excited to watch the Grammys this year. Last year’s rage from Kendrick Lamar losing Album of the Year to Taylor Swift left my mind and I sat down in front of the TV with my wine and pizza — live tweeting and waiting for Queen Bey to accept every award she rightfully deserved.

Before turning my attention to the red carpet, I turned on the CBS commentary to hear predictions.

The week prior, every major media outlet pit Adele and Beyoncé against each other, as if you can actually compare their artistry. They are incredibly distinct entertainers, so I didn’t pay much attention to the Beyoncé vs. Adele narrative.

CBS was no different for pre-Grammy commentary. When it came to the infamous Beyoncé and Adele “face-off,” they began comparing the albums Lemonade and 25 by sales and cultural impact.

And that’s when I heard it — the voice of a white woman commentator who said,

“You know, I just think Adele’s album did a better job of bringing us all together.”


It wasn’t the words she spoke that lit my fuse. It was the words unsaid — connotation.


I immediately questioned that statement as it echoed throughout my mind. That statement angered me, but most of all made me curious. If I was sitting at that desk with the other commentators, my simple question to the aforementioned white woman would have been…

If 25 brought us together, did Lemonade tear us apart?

Because that was the unsaid.

It was implied.

When people say “you always make it about race,” what they fail to realize is that in these circumstances, it is the presence of undertones that complicates the situation.

What wasn’t said?

So I am here to say it.


How long will Academy members continue to snub black ingenuity and innovation or contain it in URBAN CONTEMPORARY? How long are we going to watch artists who bare their souls, truths, vulnerabilities and stories of the unsaid with hopes they will be properly rewarded, only to find an artist with a “safer” message take the award? How long? And once again, to quote the amazing Adele…

“What the f — does she have to do to win album of the year?”

Am I overreacting?

The last time a black person won Album of the Year was NINE YEARS AGO.

I sometimes shudder when people say the words “political” to describe Lemonade because what I saw was a celebration of black womanhood — of black culture and genius and life.

And then I remembered…

We are a politicized people.

Our bodies are politicized. Our humanity is politicized. Hell, even our hair is politicized! Black people have been politicized from the moment we were brought to this nation in chains and white men decided we were 3/5 of a person. Which is why 3 simple words: black lives matter, is considered a political statement. Why is just saying our existence matters a threat to people? Why is that political or controversial?

The Grammy’s answered my question last night.

For the majority, exclusion is invisible when it benefits them. But when they can’t identify personally with something (like the celebration of black womanhood for example) and as a result feels excluded, a super bowl performance, hashtag, or an album is “political” or “controversial.”

We are a divided nation.

And guess what…it’s not because Colin Kaepernick protested the national anthem or Beyoncé stood on top of a police car. It’s not because Solange sang “Don’t touch my hair” or because of the hashtag #BlackGirlMagic.

Our nation is divided because it was built that way…in a web of contradictions and unanswered questions.

That commentator’s statement was a clear example of white fragility. And you know what?

White fragility is suffocating.

White fragility teaches us that celebration of ourselves and our culture is a direct attack on white people.

White fragility won’t allow me to be proud of who I am and where I’ve come from without the assumption that I must hate white people.

White fragility won’t allow me to celebrate black womanhood because I am a “woman first.”

White fragility calls me divisive for just wanting to feel included.

Why wasn’t Lemonade Album of the Year?

It wasn’t made for white people. And anything not created with white people in mind is controversial, divisive and political — or my personal favorite phrase of the night…Urban Contemporary.

We can ALL identify with Hello right? It made us drop everything and come together. Unlike Lemonade.

And we can’t possibly come together as a nation with artists celebrating black culture in the mainstream, now can we?

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