Still We Rise: Dubbing 2018 The Year of the Black Woman

It’s 6:51 AM and I’m still reeling from finally getting a chance to witness the greatness that is Janelle Monae’s melaninated, buttery goodness of a video entitled “Pynk”. I’m the type of person who likes to wait for excessive hype to die down before I dive into checking out certain forms of creative expression. When the video originally dropped on April 10, my antennas picked up on the praise surrounding The Electric Lady’s fearlessness, her impeccable artistic aesthetic and, of course, the esteemed message rooted deepw within her slow lulls and the song’s contagious productive prowess. If you haven’t seen the visuals yet, take a quick second and check out the full video below.

After salivating over “Pynk”, I came to the immediate realization that 2018 is the Year of the Black Woman. That’s right, I’m professing it loud and clear. The reason for my logic stems from a myriad of groundbreaking accomplishments that have drastically altered the course of how Black women are perceived, how we are respected and how we continue to evolve beyond the labels men continue to place on us. I mean, just think:

  • Beyonce snatched each and every one of our edges as the first BLack woman to headline the Coachella Music Festival. The Queen Bee gave us tastes of HBCU (Historically Black Colleges and Universities) culture while injecting samples of historic Black culture including the Negro National Anthem “Lift Every Voice and Sing”. B introduced a new side of Black culture to the mainstream, one that is consistently overlooked and hardly respected. B dropped knowledge and even gave a brief nod to revered Greek culture. If you didn’t attend an HBCU, after this performance, you were definitely checking for admission deadlines!

  • Lupita Nyong’o Letitia Wright and Danai Gurira redefined the standard of “strong black women” in the epic release of the wildly successful film, Black Panther. Aside from coercing  every African-American to drench themselves in their Wakandan-best to watch the feature, Lupita, Letitia and Danai have single-handedly given the next generation pillars of inspiration that Black women can serve as leaders; from heads of military and technology to executive officers of foreign policy, Ryan Coogler’s take on Black Panther did more than just break worldwide records, but it also upheld the power and prestige of Black women as being something more than purely physical. Yes, Lupita, Leticia and Danai slayed in every sartorial way possible; however, these women also proved that intelligence, passion, determination and holding true to your beliefs can only propel Black women forward – with no obstacles in sight. Representation is everything!

  • Forever-our-FLOTUS Michelle Obama is set to release her upcoming memoir on November 13, the invincible Angela Rye is wrecking havoc in the world of political commentary while motivating an entire generation to speak intently for what they believe in, Victoria Mahoney is set the serve as a featured director for the upcoming Star Wars film as the first Black female director. Talk about an intergalactic slay! Also, let’s not forget – Drake told us to be “Nice For What” in his celebration of the a diverse range of women.

At this point, especially with it being only April, I’m excited to see what the rest of 2018 holds. All this #BlackGirlMagic is starting to alter the confines society continues to hold against women of color. Despite being overlooked and consistently replicated, like Maya Angelou said, still we rise. We rise above the stereotypes and the bullshit, we rise above the beliefs that our voices will not be heard and we rise above being told who we should be, as a people. I’ve always been a hardcore advocate for all things magical but, this year, the ambiance of inevitable change tastes a little bit sweeter. Women of color are raging forward, full throttle, with no signs of slowing down! To all my sistahs,, break out the coconut oil, slay that twist out, showcase those luscious curves, drink tons of water and protect that melanin because our ascent, our spirit and our influence will remained unmatched. Black women, we are invincible.


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