Zora Neale Hurston’s “Their Eyes Were Watching God” begins with Janie Crawford returning to her all-Black Florida hometown. Her hair, a symbol of her freedom, rests on her overalls as she walks with absolute focus on her destination. Eighty-five years after the publishing of ‘Their Eyes…,’ we re-meet another Black woman with a distinctly Southern heritage and a narrative that is hers alone. Beyoncé’s Renaissance, her first solo project with all-new material in six years, is out today.
In the years since Beyoncé’s last album, the fourth wave of feminism has begun with help from Tarana Burke, President Trump was elected, multiple health crises, and the continuous murders of Black people prompted America to once again confront its grisly treatment amongst the community. . Even the very soil under our feet has changed (thanks, climate change). Beyoncé’s life has had a multitude of new developments as well, albeit more positive. She’s now a mother of three, has forged a successful alliance with Adidas, made history at Coachella, executive produced Disney and Parkwood Entertainment’s Black Is King, and as of 2021, has won more Grammys than anyone.