Playlist: Women with stories to tell

Don’t stop with black history: listen to black women living, working today

February is Black History Month, and it’s important to dig into the past and learn the stories that have been repeatedly hidden and overlooked for generations.

But don’t stop in the past.

As Jamila Woods sings in her song, “Blk Girl Soldier,” “Look at what they did to my sisters — last century, last week.”

Instead of focusing only on black stories of the past, why not shift some of your attention, streams and dollars over to women of color currently killing it in music?

Unlike historical figures in music like Nina Simone and Billie Holiday, the artists listed can benefit from your listens today.

I chose some poignant songs from some of my favorite women of color in music, then added some empowering tunes from a playlist  curated by Maya Berry, writer for POPSUGAR.

The playlist I put together includes artists you might not know, but all their discographies are worth exploring. When it came to Solange and Jamila Woods, I couldn’t pick just one song from each artist.

Solange celebrates black and brown features in “Almeda” from her newest album and expresses autonomy in “Don’t Touch My Hair,” from her previous album.

Jamila Woods gets two songs for a special reason. While “Blk Girl Soldier” directly addresses double standards, discrimination and our culture’s fear of black femininity, her song “Basquiat” is just one portrait of a black artist from a concept album that dedicates 13 songs to historical black figures.

Dig in.

  • “Lose My Cool” by Amber Mark
  • “Melanin” by Ciara
  • “Nont For Sale” by Sudan Archives
  • “Wonder Woman” by LION BABE
  • “Almeda” by Solange
  • “Blaxploitation” by Noname
  • “Basquiat” by Jamila Woods
  • “BROWN SKIN GIRL” by Beyoncé
  • “La Diaspora” by Nitty Scott
  • “Black Truck” by Mereba
  • “Black Girl Magik” by Sampa the Great
  • “Don’t Touch My Hair” by Solange
  • “Blk Girl Soldier” by Jamila Woods
  • “Blue Lights” by Jorja Smith
  • “Q.U.E.E.N.” by Janelle Monáe