In honor of the historic announcement of Sen. Kamala Harris being named as Biden’s pick for VP, I’ve decided to fill August’s playlist with songs by some of my favorite black women artists, such as Beyoncé (of course), Janelle Monaé, Noname and H.E.R.
You might think, hey, I like your brand, but why do you have to make it political? The fact is, being able to ignore politics is something that only the very privileged are able to do. Everything in our lives – from our own bodies, the earth we live on, who gets a say on policies, to who stars in movies is political. Just because you don’t want to hear about it doesn’t make it any less real. Darling Marcelle is the creation of one person – me, Kaelen Van Cura – and my values are not reflected by the current resident of White House.
Women are 51% of the population, but you wouldn’t know that by the makeup of our political class. And black people are 13-15% of the US population, which is definitely not the case in the halls of power. Adding Kamala to the Biden ticket is a small step to getting a more demographically accurate representation of our leaders.
To celebrate all the black women in this country who are living under the twin evils of racism and sexism, I named “Keep Ya Head Up” after the song of the same name by Jhené Aiko. I first got the idea for this month's playlist when Kamala was announced as the candidate for V.P., and while I was mulling over my list, I coincidentally got an email linking to the Black Music History Library, which I highly recommend. Just a quick perusal will show you how intertwined black people are with every genre of music, even ones that may surprise you.
I hope you like this playlist as much as I do and that it introduces you to some musicians you might not have heard of before. I read that most people stop listening to new music after age 33, which is pretty sad! There’s great music being written and sung every day and one person can probably just scratch the surface of it, so don’t be afraid to dive in and listen to something new.
Even though I talk about serious stuff in this post, this playlist isn't meant to be medicine. I have listened to it for the last couple days in its final form and have tested it as my background music for both working and doing chores and I give it high marks for accompanying both.
As always, let me know what you think in the comments.