01/14/2014 09:42 am ET Updated Jan 23, 2014

From Janet To Beyoncé: Why It Matters When Black Women Sing About Sexuality

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A little over three weeks since "BEYONCÉ" took the Internet hostage in the middle of the night, the buzz for the artist’s self-titled release has not waned, and she seems unlikely to release any hostages. I can still expect to see “SURFBOARD” (who knew you could spell that so many ways?) as the caption of choice on my homegirls’ latest selfies, and I rang in my New Year drunk in love with my fatty, daddy.

As listeners continue to speculate just what “watermelon” means (note: it’s not what you think), an important message has been lost in translation, particularly among men. Shocking. This, the album where Beyoncé Knowles emerges as more than song-of-the-year-YouTube-video-wunderkind for the girls and the gays, has escaped them. The album about female independence is the album they don’t seem to understand.

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