On September 30th, 2016, Solange released her creative and vibrant record A Seat At The Table and grabbed a spot for the number one album on Billboard. The record promotes black pride and all of its beauty. We as the audience get to experience the pain and joy of not only black womanhood but black manhood as well. As Tina Knowles says in the “Interlude: Tina Taught Me”, “There’s so much beauty in being Black.” The album was unapologetically written and produced from beginning to end making it a breath of fresh air especially with so much going on from this ongoing race war to the taunting presidential election. The topics were real yet presented softly and passionately. Besides “Cranes In The Sky” and so many others, “MAD” stuck out the most for me. “Mad” featuring Lil Wayne was the summary of A Seat At The Table in all its glory.
Let me have a seat at this table and let you know why I’m mad as a black woman not only in America, but also at my job, in my relationship, on the train, shopping, in my household, and around my family. That’s what “Mad” makes me want to do. Its starts off softly with “ You got the light, count it all joy… You’ve got the right to be mad, but when you carry it alone you find it only getting in the way, they say you gotta let it go.” No matter what trials and tribulations you encounter continue to be joyful because it is only a test of your strength so that you can be all that you need to become. Whatever you’re mad about, you have every right to be mad and your emotions are still valid, however, it’s also important that you heal and let it go. If these first few lines aren’t everything then I don’t know what is!
Let us kill the Angry Black Woman stereotype that only allows our opponents and oppressors to look at us as being ridiculous or too emotional. Solange validates our anger and our joy, as it comes from so many different angles we carry with us daily. Some of us don’t even know we’re hurting mentally and it’s because we don’t want to. We may keep everything bottled up until the bottle starts overflowing and we have a break down. We dumb down our emotions, we settle, we don’t complain, and we become voiceless in certain situations because we don’t want to be the “Angry Black Woman” or make anything a big deal. I have a lot to be mad about though! Like the fact that “doing it all ain’t enough” as Lil Wayne would say. Or maybe you’re a good woman who keeps getting the short end of the stick. Maybe you’re a single mom who can’t find support but you have to support everyone else. Maybe no one appreciates all that you do. Maybe your man left you for someone else while you were being loyal. Maybe your loved one got killed because of senseless violence. Maybe you’re mad at God. Maybe your boyfriend beats on you and you can’t find the strength to leave. Maybe you’ve been working so hard and you’re still behind in your bills. Maybe you just can’t seem to get it together because everything is always falling apart and if it ain’t one thing its another. I know it’s hard. We know it’s hard. But it doesn’t stop there because then you gotta go outside and be black.
But before you get there your black hair is giving you a hard time it just can’t seem to cooperate. You can’t afford to get your hair done but you can’t just go outside with your hair not done because you don’t have that kind of hair. You’re mad. You’re having a hard time getting yourself to leave your house because your black today and its showing and its irritating you. But at the same time you love you, you just don’t like some of your blackness today. Maybe if society understood being black and maybe if it wasn’t devalued, it would be a little easier for you to leave you’re house today. But wait a minute, you can’t leave your house and go do what you love or go make yourself some money because you have to babysit your niece or nephew, kids that aren’t even yours. Now you do love them and you love your sister or brother too but you’re mad. You hate the projects but you’re family can’t afford to live anywhere else right now. You’re mad. So much goes on in our own separate lives, your emotions are valid.
“ Why you always blaming? Why you can’t just face it? Why you always gotta be so mad?” We all have our own problems. We all want to blame some one because not everything is our fault, and we don’t ask to be in certain situations. But it’s important to also let some of that anger go. Being mad causes stress, clouds judgment and causes you to miss opportunities. Sometimes we have to just breath and always find a way to express ourselves if we want to come out on top. We can’t let it build up. Being mad takes away from us expressing all of our magic and we have a lot and no time to waste on being mad. SO YES WE HAVE EVERY RIGHT TO BE MAD, AS DRAINING AS OUR SITUATIONS MAY BE AS MUCH AS WE ENDURE DAY IN AND DAY OUT, BUT YOU ALSO HAVE EVERY RIGHT TO BE HAPPY AND BEING HAPPY AINT NEVER HURT NOBODY!!
So find your love and then find your happy.
But in the mean time what are some of the things you’re mad about ?