#BlackWomenLead Spotify List - #GRAMMYs Edition

This GRAMMYs weekend, only a handful—exactly just about one handful—of Black women artists have been nominated for awards despite the overwhelming influence Black women have on the music industry and pop culture on the whole. For the first time since Nielsen began collecting the data, hip hop & R&B are the top music genre in the U.S., displacing rock for the first time ever. Yet, despite the often-imitated, never duplicated influence of our look and sound, and despite the dollars spent, Black women nominees are in low supply.

We know women of color in Congress and every level of public office can relate. Despite making up one of the most consistent voting demographics in the nation, we are still woefully underrepresented in public office. These are symptoms of the same problem. To tie these conversations together (and have a little fun), we’ve put together the #BlackWomenLead playlist. Through the playlist, we are lifting up and “seeing” the women who’ve influenced and inspired us, and continue to blaze trails; and we aim to create a soundtrack to motivate and encourage us as we define our leadership, whether we’re leaders in music, government, tech, or our households.

The playlist was curated by past and present elected officials, social justice leaders and cultural influencers.


Jamia.pngOur Voices:  March, Lead, and Speak with Power
By Jamia Wilson

In the aftermath of a political inflection point where 98% of Black women voters showed up and to defend justice and protect our communities in Alabama and beyond, our sisters in Hollywood said #TimesUp for systemic injustice from the entertainment industry to the farm fields.
As the 2018 Grammy Awards roll in within the rising tide of the #Metoo moment, we’re in the midst of a groundswell of an unprecedented resistance, overwhelmingly supported by and often led by women of color.

Although black women’s leadership, presence, and influence have presently and historically ignited change from the townhalls to the boardroom to the media, our voices and disturbingly absent or undercut from coverage, recognition and awards accolades. That's why we’re amplifying our own megaphone, in the spirit of our departed sister Shirley Chisholm who urged us to bring our own folding seat to the table of transformation.

We’re not monolithic, but we’re tied together by the ties that bind and block us from experiencing and celebrating our fullest potential, visions, and contributions--whose benefits extend far beyond our own communities.

Since we live in a reality where only two black women have ever been elected to the US Senate or won Album of the Year, black women powerhouses from politics to publishing came together to advance an agenda that amplifies our efforts at a higher frequency. 

Through our playlist of songs by past and present black women Grammy nominees we’re composing a love ballad that acknowledges our shroes, sung and unsung. Through the words works, and names of Aretha, Ledisi, Ella, Sade, and Alicia, we hear our own, and those of our next-generation of daughters whose leadership the world needs more than ever. Through their songs of freedom, we know that arranging our voices (and our votes) in a chorus that champions change lifts us all up to march, lead, and speak with power.