The following article was previously published in the Black Allyship column at Mochi Magazine, an online publication for Asian American women.
This month’s resource roundup focuses on music, and we’ve invited Afro Puerto Rican writer and self-proclaimed music nerd Miguel Machado (who happens to be BA@M co-editor Sarah Jinee Park’s partner) to share five picks from his anti-racist soundtrack:
In response to the trying times we find ourselves in, anti-racist practices are becoming ever more ingrained in our lives. From the personal to the professional, there is no shortage of pedagogies to incorporate or articles to avail oneself of in pursuit of greater change. But another powerful anti-racism resource that often goes overlooked is music.
I say overlooked because oftentimes the messages in our favorite songs don’t always spell things out for us (a la “We Are The World” route). No, the best anti-racist music is, first and foremost, good music. It’s only when we dig in and analyze the lyrics that we unravel a deeper meaning.
So here are a few selections that combine anti-racist messages with masterful composition.
Solange: “A Seat at the Table”
Okay, this one shouldn’t come as a surprise. Solange’s jazzy and subdued junior album is a masterclass in empowerment. Diving deep into the Black feminist perspective, a song like “Don’t Touch My Hair” serves as a rallying cry against the microaggressions rampant in society. However, beneath the surface, it harkens to something much simpler and much more universal: self-love and embracing idiosyncratic beauty.
These principles form the foundation upon which Solange builds a soundscape that consistently reminds listeners of their self-worth and the power that comes with setting boundaries.
Why It’s Anti-Racist: One of the effects of racist behavior or rhetoric is to instill a sense of inferiority in the victim. This allows the oppressor a…