When I think of black women I think of strong, beautiful, magical beings who are more than worthy of love, abundance, confidence, and living their best lives. But, it’s no secret that this group of women happen to be some of the most marginalized group and the one people seem to have so much to say about. Whether it’s thoughts about our hair, our bodies, the way we speak, or our actions, black women seem to always be the topic of conversation and scrutiny. And even though WE know we’re magical black girls, it’s hard to keep that positivity when the world seems to consistently throw shade our way. So for those days, when we’re feeling less than magical, let these lyrics—by black women—empower, uplift, and inspire you.
1. “I am not my hair, I’m not my skin, I am not your expectations, no.” ~ India Arie
I love this lyric because it speaks directly to one of the conflicts we battle with a lot. From our natural hair styles being deemed unprofessional to our complexions being degraded, India reminds us that we are not bound to this society’s views. We are only bound to ourselves.
2. “People always trying to find the world I’m in, I’m the envy of the women and I rule the men” ~ Erykah Badu
It’s no secret that black women’s features and style are constantly being replicated, duplicated, and appropriated. Erykah said it the best with this lyric. I like to consider Black womanhood to be this exclusive club that people are always trying to gain access to. Always trying to find the world we’re in.
3. “I’m holding on to my freedom. Can’t take it from me. I was born into it, it comes naturally” ~ Jill Scott
I have a special place in my heart for Jilly from Philly and “Golden” will always be a favorite. This lyric, in particular, is a reminder that you were born into the greatness of black womanhood so your body, your skin, your style, and your culture are your natural inheritance.
4. “How we’re smart enough to make these millions, Strong enough to bear the children (children), Then get back to business” ~ Beyonce
While the list of Beyonce lyrics that speak to empowering black women is extensive, this one from “Who Run the World” hits close to home as a working mother myself. And yes, I know all women bear children and get back to work, but I’m speaking from MY experience. Now, about those millions though….
5. “Even when I’m a mess, I still put on a vest With an S on my chest, Oh yes I’m a Superwoman” ~ Alicia Keys
Historically, black women have always been viewed as super strong beings, capable of birthing nations and holding the world on their shoulders. We have to be careful when playing into that narrative. Instead of embracing the traditional view of superwoman, I like to use this as a personal nod to myself, a pat on my back for living and thriving against all odds.