A SEAT AT THE TABLE
A long journey of healing, self-reflection, self-discovery, and empowerment, Solange’s soul search rewarded us with one of the most important albums of 2016, and the greatest content of her career. Enduring as a musical, cultural, and visual masterpiece, this record definitely earns her a seat at the table among the R&B greats.
Musically, A Seat at the Table is a groovy, cathartic dream. Each song ethereally floats combining carefully woven words, melodic beats, and angelic vocals. But each tender track is balanced by what makes this album truly special: the hard, concrete message of Solange’s powerful voice. In an attempt to connect to her roots, Solange wrote the record while living on a Louisiana plantation. For her, this was imperative to answering several questions this album explores, many of which she asked on her twitter: “Where can we be safe? Where can we be free? Where can we be black?”
This record is personal, political, and everything in between. It is a clap back to anti-blackness and a raw expression of pain and healing. In “Don’t Touch My Hair”, Solange demands agency and respect over her own body. “Mad” argues that the black community has the right to their anger, especially considering the history of injustices that they have endured. “Weary”—my personal favorite track— is a dynamic ballad that poses relevant questions of belonging and equality.
In a time where hate is being normalized, Solange’s voice sends a message that is more important now than ever. With universal themes of struggle, belonging, and identity, Solange includes everyone at her table in order to educate outsiders about the reality of life in Black womanhood. As a white female, I will never share the same experiences as Solange, or understand the severity of the struggle she endures on a daily basis simply for the color of her skin. But by leaving her soul on display, she leaves us all with a multitude of unapologetic truths that we all need to reflect on. Easy on the ears yet mighty on the soul, A Seat at the Table left me grooving, contemplating, grieving, and everything in between— and for that I can thank the genius that is Solange Knowles.