Black Self-Love and Affirmation through Music

Self-love has become a mantra during this current sociopolitical climate, encouraged by jubilant exclamations of Black Girl Magic and the defiant announcements of unapologetic blackness. While these new tag-lines can be found all over the internet, clothing, and television, music shows us that it has always been a vessel for affirmation. Much like black culture has shifted from subversive to in-your-face, black affirmation in music has done the same. By focusing on the music during three sociopolitical movements in black American history, I hope to analyze elements of self-love and affirmation as well as the differences in which they are expressed.

Shameya Pennell is a senior at Emory University majoring in Religion and Anthropology.