Have you heard of the #LemonadeSyllabus?

lemonade-syllabusWhen Beyoncé’s visual album Lemonade was released this past April, it became an internet sensation. But did you hear about the amazing resource, titled the Lemonade Syllabus, which was inspired by it?

After many people across the world watched Beyoncé’s visual album, writer and educator Candice Benbow wanted to find a way to continue the conversation around the album’s themes of Black female empowerment and feminism. So Benbow started the hashtag “#LemonadeSyllabus” and asked that Black women around the world use the hashtag to suggest songs, books, film and poetry that were “primarily by Black women- that they believe best accompanied Lemonade and spoke to the essence of Black womanhood in its historical and contemporary manifestations.” 

Benbow then compiled over 200 of those suggestions, which are split into categories such as Fiction & Literature, Black Feminist Studies, Critical Theory, Self-care and Youth, into an eBook that launched on May 6, 2016. The best part is that the Lemonade Syllabus can be downloaded and printed for free.

In the Lemonade Syllabus’ introduction, Benbow writes “It is my hope that these works will introduce you to other offerings from amazing Black women who tell our stories in hopes of setting us free. I also hope this inspires other sisters to tap into their own magic and give us the work that will heal and transform us… Let us lift up our stories, move beyond our pain and create worlds of hope for generations to come”.

Click here to view a selection of titles from the Lemonade Syllabus that you can check out from the library.

~ posted by Siri A.

Lemonade Syllabus – Titles Available at the Seattle Public Library

Fiction & Literature

  1. Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
  2. The Salt Eaters by Toni Cade Bambara
  3. Getting to Happy by Terry McMillan
  4. Silver Sparrow by Tayari Jones

 Non-Fiction & Autobiography

  1. Things I Should have Told My Daughter: Lies, Lessons & Love Affairs by Pearl Cleage
  2. The Other Side of Paradise: A Memoir by Staceyann Chin
  3. Remnants: A Memoir of Spirit, Activism, and Mothering by Rosemarie Freeney Harding

Black Feminist Studies

  1. Women, Race & Class by Angela Davis
  2. Words of Fire: An Anthology of African American Feminist Thought by Beverly Guy-Sheftall
  3. Ain’t I a Woman: Black Women and Feminism by bell hooks

English & Critical Theory

  1. Saints, Sinners, Saviors: Strong Black Women in African American Literature by Trudier Harris
  2. Killing the Black Body: Race, Reproduction, and the Meaning of Liberty by Dorothy E. Roberts

Historical & Cultural Studies

  1. The Sisters are Alright: Changing the Broken Narrative of Black Women in America by Tamara Winfrey Harris
  2. Sister Citizen: Shame, Stereotypes, and Black Women in America by Melissa V. Harris-Perry
  3. Arrested Justice: Black Women, Violence, and America’s Prison Nation by Beth Richie

Inspirational & Self Care

  1. Souls of My Young Sisters: Young Women Break Their Silence With Personal Stories That Will Change Your Life by Dawn Marie Daniels

Religion & Womanist Theology

  1. Righteous Discontent: The Women’s Movement in the Black Baptist Church, 1880-1920 by Evelyn Brooks Higginbotham
  2. Just a Sister Away: A Womanist Vision of Women’s Relationships in the Bible by Renita J. Weems


  1. The People Could Fly by Virginia Hamilton
  2. Big Hair, Don’t Care by Crystal Swain-Bates
  3. President of the Whole Fifth Grade by Sherri Winston


  1. Phenomenal Woman: Four Poems Celebrating Women by Maya Angelou
  2. Voyage of the Sable Venus: And Other Poems by Robin Coste Lewis


  1. SongVersation by India.Arie
  2. Tomorrow Is My Turn by Rhiannon Giddens
  3. Woman by Jill Scott


  1. A Raisin in the Sun (2008)
  2. Lackawanna Blues (2005)
  3. Eve’s Bayou (1997)

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