Solange reminds Black women to create our own safe spaces
The Recording Academy awarded grammy awards to Adele for Song of the Year, Record of the Year and Album of the Year over Beyoncé at the 59th Annual Grammy Awards. Viewers, music enthusiasts and even Adele herself were shocked to see the Album of the Year win.
Adele thanked the crowd and the Academy, but a shocking turn of events occurred when she reached her hands out to Beyoncé with her Grammy award in two pieces.
“I can’t possibly accept this award, and I’m very humbled, and I’m very grateful and gracious but my artist of my life is Beyoncé,” Adele said. “And this album for me, the ‘Lemonade’ album, is so monumental, and so well thought out, and so beautiful.”
Adele continued to honor Beyoncé, calling her “the light’ for all artists in the room. She also mentioned that Beyoncé’s ‘Lemonade’ album, had a striking impact on her Black friends-- a remark further proving the cultural impact of the singers latest project. Beyoncé has been nominated for Album of the Year three times but has never taken one home.
Following the event, singer and songwriter, Solange took to her social media platform, Twitter-- a place where she is often vocal, honest and uplifting to her followers. She tweeted Frank Ocean’s open letter to the Grammy’s. The piece displays his discerning sentiments towards The Academy.
Solange’s tweets continued to chirp, “There have only been two black winners in the last 20 years for album of the year there have been over 200 black artists who have performed,” she said.
The facts are, the last black artist to win Album of the Year was Herbie Hancock in 2008, not to mention, the last black woman to win the same award was Lauryn Hill for ‘The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill,’ in 1999. Black women before Lauryn who took wins in this category were Whitney Houston (1994) and Natalie Cole (1992).
Solange’s criticism of the Grammy’s is correct and uncovers problematic institutions in music that mirror inequalities faced by Blacks in our nation’s politics, education system and poverty, among other facets of society. Color blindness and lack of credit are inconsistencies that continue to spark public outrage about Black lives.
Black artists are keystones to music. They are innovative, talented and creatively unbound cultural influencers. Despite these facts, Black artists are not awarded graciously on platforms such as the Grammy’s for their work.
Solange’s final tweet, all of which were deleted, was the most powerful, truthful and moving statement for our time:
“Create your own communities, build your own institutions, give your friends awards, award yourself and be the gold you wanna hold my g’s.”
Solange’s Twitter fingers are what Black artists need to recognize their worth. F.U.B.U, For Us, By Us. Institutions that amplify our voices, showcase our authenticity and ones that do not rob us of our creations are the only places that will allow us to hold gold. Solange continued to propel her voice when she told press that she is the vessel for, “Creating strong, visual, representations of not only myself but, again, black women.”
Solo is not asking for ‘A Seat at The Table,’ she is sitting down and pushing against the naysayers who will not let her and other black artists eat.
Christina Dunn is an alumna of the University at Buffalo with a double degree in Sociology and Communication. At the magazine she serves as a social media curator and a contributing writer. Christina also volunteers at POWER 105.1 in NYC following her dream to become a music journalist and radio personality. She has varying interest: social justice reform, journalism and reporting, research, sports (basketball junkie), music and contemporary art. Find her on Instagram: @christinadunn___.