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‘A Seat at the Table’

October 13, 2016

Kailee Courts

Staff Reporter | kec029@latech.edu

Photo courtesy of Columbia Records.

Photo courtesy of Columbia Records.

 

Solange Knowles released her third studio album, “A Seat at the Table,” on Sept. 30.

 

Knowles uses the power of her voice to tell a story of the things that black women are facing in America in 2016.

 

She produced the record along with Raphael Saadiq, and Knowles has reportedly been working on this album since 2013.

 

According to an article for Pitchfork, Knowles said it was important for her to connect to her roots, and she made most of the album in New Iberia, the birthday of Knowles’s grandmother.

 

Staying true to her family, she even has both of her parents on the album.

 

In a statement about the album, Knowles described it as “a project on identity, empowerment, independence, grief and healing.”

 

The first thing that one hears when listening to the album is “fall in your ways, so you can crumble.”

 

These lyrics are from the first song, “Rise,” where Knowles sings about staying true to herself, in times of both success and failure.

 

Knowles then takes the listener on a journey of self-awareness and independence.

 

The fourth song on the album is “Cranes in the Sky,” and it was written eight years ago.

 

“Cranes” describes Knowles’s attempts at avoiding painful feelings, which are likely results of dissonance and rejection she experiences as a black woman in America.

 

In the song “Mad,” Knowles works with Lil Wayne to show the way black women in America are devalued, and the songs meet that with resistance.

 

The song structures and melodies celebrate black history, and Knowles has channeled artists like Riperton, Zapp, Angie Stone and Janet Jackson.

 

Instead of ending the album with a song, Knowles chose to end with a spoken word interlude by Master P called “Closing: The Chosen Ones.”

 

“Now, we come here as slaves, but we are going out as royalty, and able to show that we are truly the chosen ones.”

 

Knowles used “A Seat at the Table” almost like a diary about herself, and then turns it around to mirror other black women.

 

The album is an ode to black women across the world, their healing and sustenance.

 

By singing about her real struggles as a black woman in America today, Knowles makes a way for people to have their eyes opened to what women in the United States are still facing.

 

“A Seat at the Table” is a beautifully written album that truly captures Knowles’s emotions, and shows just how strong the power of words is.

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