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6 Times Solange’s ‘A Seat At The Table’ Perfectly Articulated My Black Girl Feelings

Evelyn From the Internets reviews the new Solange album

10.04.16
solange-a-seat-at-the-table-album-man-repeller

Solange Knowles’ third album is 21 tracks of I-swear-to-God-this-was-ripped-from-my-unpublished-Tumblr drafts. I’m Black and woman at the same time. I bump into all the glass ceilings. Demand a seat at all the tables.

I’ve only had this album for a weekend. I haven’t flipped through the 111-page book of lyrics and photography as many times as I’d like, but I already have feelings. So many feelings.

#1 Heavenly harmonies on “Rise”
This is a mantra. This is going on my “Mindfulness” Spotify playlist, y’all. Yes, I have a Mindfulness Spotify playlist.

Lyrically, she urges us to live unapologetically. We may fall. We may fail. Our ways may not be perfect, but give yourself a chance to thrive. Give yourself your all.

Sonically, Rise makes me want to float on the fluffiest cumulonimbus cloud Black Jesus can find and spend a Sunday sunset deep-conditioning each other’s hair with unrefined extra virgin coconut oil.

#2 Validation through “Cranes In The Sky”
Never has a song so gentle hit me so hard, like a ton of bricks. Battle the gray, overcast fogginess of depression with the weight of the Strong Black Woman trope. To hear Solange melodically reveal “I tried to drink it away…I tried to dance it away”?? Sometimes you need to hear someone else articulate it to understand what depression means for you.

I know for a fact music saves lives. I believe this song is saving someone right now.

#3 Papa Knowles’ living history lesson
Textbooks have folks in this country thinking the horrors of Jim Crow and the struggle for Civil Rights are ancient folklore. Solange’s father is alive and well at a fresh 64! He recounts his first day integrating a previously white-only school. “We lived in the threat of death every day…I was angry for years.”

My family history is tinted by colonialism and segregation within an African nation, but the sentiment still stands. I don’t think we talk to our elders enough about the experiences that colored their lives, and thusly ours. ♫ You got the right to be mad… ♫

#4 “Don’t Touch My Hair” because duh
To be honest, I didn’t like how matter-of-fact this song was at first. Where’s the shadiness in such a declarative statement?! I want you to subtly DRAG every drunk white woman that’s gone knuckle deep into my hair, Solange! But I get it, sometimes you have to break things down.

And you, lady in the Target checkout line ogling at me. Reevaluate why you feel the urge to pet another human being.

#5 The throwback reference of “F.U.B.U.”
“Don’t be mad that you can’t sing along, just be glad you got the whole wide world. For us. This shit is for us.”

Well damn.

This anthem is for every time:
Bantu knots are called “mini buns” in a major magazine
We’re forced to look at Kylie Jenner’s lips
Million-dollar companies tweet “on fleek”
The whole crowd screamed n*gga during a Kanye concert a little too freely for your liking
[Insert life story here]

#6 Master P’s inspirational send-off in “The Chosen Ones”
The rapper/producer/mogul peppers the album with his life story, but the lush crescendo of horns that accompany his last soundbite? Glorious.

We come here as slaves, but we goin’ out as royalty.

Knowing that against all odds, against history’s intentions, we still got the juice?! Whew, I feel blessed and highly moisturized. Also, this track fades masterfully into Kendrick Lamar’s “Alright.” You’re welcome.

Please chime in! What were your favorite moments of A Seat At The Table?

Check out author Evelyn’s YouTube channel, Instagram @evelynfromtheinternets, Twitter @eveeeeezy and FacebookFeature and carousel photograph by Carlota Guerrero via Saint Records.

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  • Jenn

    Hi Evelyn! Where can I buy Solange’s album?

  • Max

    Junie –> 💯💯💯

  • Alison

    “Reevaluate why you feel the urge to pet another human being.” YES.

    Also, everything in #5. And the whole article.

  • Mercedes Lanore

    I know you mentioned this already, but “Cranes in the sky”, touched my soul. I cried. I thought I was the only one.

    • I did too. That why I hate that strong black women shit. You can’t even conceive a world where we are in pain. We need to be more vocal about it so we can comfort each other.

  • When you fashion career ambitions meets your soul nourishing internet cousin?! MAGIC! ( of the blackest and most feminine kind 😉 )

    I have absolutely nothing to add to the conversation. You said every that is to be said. My children will be reading this blog post in their post modern afro american studies textbook. Just wanted to say hey. Proud of you. Keep working. i’m rissa206 on youtube. say hey back when you seem my comments 🙂

  • Dear Evelyn, I LOVE YOU WOMAN! You say the things that we want to say the way we want to say them. I’m glad you have a voice and use it so strongly!

  • Emma

    I. LOVE. SOLANGE.
    seriously, she has made my world a little more beautiful.

  • Dana Naildiva Bowman

    “Cranes” has me dancing throughout my apartment, wiggling my fingers in the air. It feels like freedom.

  • Ahtiya

    I love F.U.B.U. I think it’s so telling of how white America feels the need to constantly take from black Americans, even when they have the world at their fingertips. It’s frustrating to constantly be told we’re not good enough yet they want everything we have.

    • tck62

      Hey I just stumbled across this thread and I’m honestly curious what you think white Americans are taking from black Americans and what it is you think white America wants from you ?

  • grace b

    Evelyn!! How did I not know that you also live in Austin!? (thanks Linkedin). Love that you’re writing here now! 🙂

  • Mutsa

    Evelyn, please can you share the link to your ‘Mindfulness’ playlist?

  • BuffyAnneSummers97

    I just need to tell you about the BlackGirlsLovePink instagram. I hope you already know about it & love it as much as I do but if you don’t know, now you know!

  • FromTokyo

    I like when she says “Don’t test my mouth.” Ha.

  • Great album & looks are on point!

    http://www.twoarticals.com

  • Evelyn you are awesome! I’ve said it before, I’m so thrilled you write for man repeller 😀 this post is perfect. I’m gonna have to have a listen to this album now, a real good listen. X

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