young women of color create a solange syllabus (and need your submissions)

'A Seat at the Table Syllabus' invites young women to suggest ideas for texts, music, and art that embody themes explored on Solo's outstanding new album.

by Hannah Ongley
18 January 2017, 4:35pm


While dissecting her standout song "Cranes in the Sky" on Song Exploder over the weekend — over haunting isolated vocals and harp chords sourced from Toys "R" Us — Solange talked about exploring her own feelings against the backdrop of how black women are treated in America. "So much of that song to me also became a song for community, and so many things specifically that I know black girls are working through and I know black women are working through. It became a different story." A Seat at the Table might be a deeply personal musing on womanhood, racism, and relationships, but there's no doubt it has also empowered others — including a group of girls of color who are creating their own Solange-inspired syllabus.

"At the beginning this new year, and as we witness the inauguration of a new president we invite young women of color, ages 16-30, to have a seat at the table by helping us collect the texts, music, and visual art that speak to our experiences," reads the timely call for submissions to A Seat at the Table Syllabus: The Truths of Young Women of Color. "If we are to have a democracy in which all of us have a seat at the table, we know that these experiences should be central to the development of America's practices and policies."

The program is curated by eight diverse young Wake Forest University students: Lauren Barber, Mankaprr Conteh, Alex Dean, Erica Jordan, Ann Nguyen, Melissa V. Harris-Perry, Sherri Williams, and Candice Benbow, who also created a syllabus around Beyoncé's own powerful new album Lemonade. Young women are invited to suggest texts, music, and art that embody themes of resisting racism, understanding gender and sexuality, the role of relationships, and nurturing ourselves. There's even a cute section called "A Seat at the Lunch Table," curated especially for Solo fans of elementary and middle school age. Submit to the syllabus here before January 31 and help one of our democracy's most hopeful figures expound upon her inspiring M.O. 

Update: You can now download the 25 page syllabus here.


Text Hannah Ongley
Image via Instagram 

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