If you’ve managed to pull yourself together enough to write something both interesting and intellectual about Beyoncé’s new visual album Lemonade (which premiered last night on HBO), you are a god among men. As a mere mortal, I’ve, so far, only been able to re-watch the short film repeatedly, and gather images of some of the most incredible shots I saw. This intoxicating story (brought to us by acclaimed directors like Khalil Joseph, Melina Matsoukas and Jonas Åkerlund, among others) about loss, love, religion and ecstasy—through the lenses of the black women who experience it all—has many of us pulling out our copies of for colored girls…, Daughters of the Dust, The Color Purple, Sula and all manner of black feminist/womanist must-reads (it’s also high time we all learn the name Warsan Shire, apparently). That the visuals are also incredibly gif-worthy doesn’t hurt either. Here are all of the images you could ever need as reaction responses, Facebook cover photos or succinct political statements about the realities of being black, feminine, fierce and glorious in an America that would often rather you not.
Shannon M. Houston is a Staff Writer and the TV Editor for Paste. This New York-based freelancer probably has more babies than you, but that’s okay; you can still be friends. She welcomes almost all follows on Twitter.