A few nights ago, I was dead tired yet couldn’t sleep so I did what any exhausted woman in need of inspiration would do.
…I bought four Beyoncé themed book on Amazon Kindle.
One of them is terrible and will not be be reviewed. But considering I read one of them in two days, it’s definitely Queen Bey Book Review time.
As I said, dead tired me searched Amazon Kindle for Beyoncé books, and found four I deemed interesting enough to purchase. This one is a collection of essays on Beyonce’s artistry, activisme and performances, and it is 8.50$ on Kindle.
The Queen Bey book is a collection of essays edited by Veronica Chambers; it came out in March only this year. Veronica Chambers is an Afro-Latina writer and editor, and her body of work is amazing. I am definitely checking out the other work. I’m starting with the body of essays she edited on Michelle Obama and her non-fictions next.
The greatest female performer of my generation and perhaps generations to come, the black woman who has made history and paved the way, the female icon so many of us are inspired by: Beyoncé.
(Also known as the person I named my cat after)
The book consists of essays by amazing people, most of whom I did not know! Out of the 20 people it’s 16 woman versus 4 men, which I obviously like. Most of them work in media, write for a living or are professors in women’s history, black history, or both.
They take on all these different aspects of Beyoncé’s incredibly body of work (Beychella, Single Ladies, Lemonade), but there are also essays about her life: The importance of Jay-Z’s apology to her on 4:44, the elevator incident and her career and influence on the world in general.
Zero, but if you’re not a Beyoncé fan or interested in intersectional and black feminism, and the unique struggle that black women face, then this might not be the book for you — or this is actually the book for you, I might argue.
These essays are well-written, analytical, sometimes critical even on Queen Bey, and seeing it is based on the real world, real art and a real woman? I don’t think it’s kooky at all.
My Favourite Quotes:
- “Beyoncé’s break was mega to me, because it was as if she was declaring, “I have no doubt or concern about staying on top.” She was playing her own game. She was writing her own rules. While it would be a while before she declared herself Queen Bey (and occasionally King Bey), I think the hiatus she took in 2010 was her first truly sovereign act.” – Veronica Chambers
- “What might a Black girl be in this world? Everything. And where might she go? Everywhere.” – Veronica Chambers.
- “[Beychella] is also a lesson for everyone: NO MATTER HOW GOOD YOU ARE, THERE WILL BE PEOPLE WHO DON’T LIKE YOU. And that is okay. Keep doing what you were doing anyway. There are people who don’t think Beyoncé is talented. So you KNOW there will be people who don’t think your work is remotely good. Keep doing it anyway.”- Luvvie Ajayi
- “In a way, we’re all on the same journey with Beyoncé. […] And now, especially where I am in my career and looking at her, I understand that idea of having to go through a baptism where you bless yourself with the water and you ordain yourself a new woman.” – Lena Waithe
- “To me, power is making things happen without asking for permission. It’s affecting the way people perceive themselves and the world around them.” – Elodie Mailliet Storm
- “Sometimes people aren’t willing to take a visible political stance because it can backfire. Colin Kapernick is being blacklisted for his political stance. I have such a deep respect for his courage to do the right thing despite the backlash. Andre Lorde once wrote, “When we speak we are afraid our words will not be heard or welcomes. But when we are silent, we are still afraid. So it is better to speak.” – Carmen Perez
- “She makes everyone around her pull up. She works so hard. It’s tough to find that type of work ethic.” – Fatima Robinson
- “It’s easier to make a name of yourself than it is to sustain it. To sustain it, you have to constantly grow and reinvent yourself.” – Fatima Robinson
- “[after Sasha Fierce ‘retired’], Bey had no more need for alter egos. She showed up wherever she chose, as her fully integrated complex, grown-and-unapologetic self.” – Caroline Clarke
Self Help Hipster Stamp of Approval
I think Beyoncé is one of the most important cultural icons alive, and I can get emotional over what an important part she has played in my life, but also in the world. I wrote my Lemonade album review and stated:
She is using her power for a good cause: representation of black women, their power, their struggles and the rights and privileges they have lacked and still lack to this day. I feel Beyonce is making a statement that is probably more complex and delicate than I can wrap my head around.
I mean, I’m happy for me that I get to be inspired by her, her music and her art. But I fully recognise her work is much more significant than the fact it makes me grind a little harder, hold my head a little higher and feel like a bad bitch whenever I play Top Off from the Homecoming Album.
And so this bundle of essays is a must for anyone who LOVES Beyoncé.
This book showcases just how big Beyoncé’s impact has been and how much more than just a pop artist, and in how many ways she is an important inspiration to people everywhere.
So baby, if you’re a part of the Beyhive? I hope this Queen Bey book review influenced you to go read this book to appreciate our King Bey even more.