When was the last time you put on your headphones, listened to an album, and had all of your life summed up completely? Had every single emotion — happiness, pain, triumph, sorrow, hope, etc. — portrayed through a melody and sung back to you? And had it sung so sweetly that it calmed you? That it gave you peace..?
There have been a few that I could name. But one that summed up every issue that I’ve had to deal with as a black woman living in white america? Just one.
Solange’s A Seat At The Table is nothing short of perfect. 21 tracks of perfection. And with the legendary Master P narrating the album with a sufficient amount of interludes, how could it not be? I love every single track on the album, but there are a few that stand out. It took me about 4 more runs after I’ve listened to the album about 5 times already to be able to come to my conclusion.
I felt as if Solange made this just for all the women in the world — fighting to leave their mark.. to be seen.. to be heard. Too often are women, black women in particular, purposely overshadowed, overlooked, and disrespected as if it was a sport. It is truly a struggle to be a black woman in America that has goals and dreams. I felt like this song embodied that struggle. But I also felt that the message suggested that even though it is a struggle, every damn day, don’t get so caught up in it that you lose yourself entirely.
I think about all of those phases that I went through, and the ridicule and whatever that I experienced. And I can’t think of one time where I ever felt like I was going to break.”
If I wasn’t convinced that Weary and Don’t Touch My Hair was written specifically with me in mind, Solange comes with For Us, By Us. It is a dedication to all of my fellow members of the melanin tribe. I think this song deeply resonated with me because I can truthfully relate to everything she has said in the song. From being a black traveler, a successful, black career woman, and having to defend how I’ve gotten everything and everywhere I’ve gotten. But it’s more than just that. It’s about how we, as african americans, contribute so much to this society, to this world that we live in.. how we’ve built this country and everything in it, but we’re still treated as second class citizens.
3. Dont Touch My Hair
Do I even need to explain this? In a literal sense, don’t touch my hair.. especially if you’re not scratching my scalp or playing in my hair until I fall asleep. But on a serious tip, this song is not just about hair. Just touch my soul without my permission. Don’t try to touch my words, my beliefs, my everything like you have that right.
I think many people, especially from other cultures, just don’t understand the role hair plays in Black women’s lives. I can now transform the energy surrounding my hair into something way more productive.”
You and your friends have been called the N word, been approached as prostitutes, and have had your hair touched in a predominantly white bar just around the corner from the same venue. You know that people of colors’ ‘spaces’ are attacked every single day, but many will not be able to see it that way.”
4. Cranes In The Sky
Who hasn’t been here? My God. I can’t tell you how well I could resonate with this song. And I’m not afraid to admit that. I wish I could have heard this song years ago. Those years ago when I tried to read it away, run it away, shop it away, etc. Maybe then I would have known that everything I did but face my problems, my fears, and my doubts wouldn’t be conducive to my well-being. Gratefully I’ve gotten out of that rut, but I’m thankful that this song can always serve as a gentle, melodic reminder.