Different, yet the same-that can be easily attributed to the whole of humanity. Then, at what point in our history will it be possible to successfully integrate various nationalistic movements that manifest across the globe in a context of political, economic or social unrest, usually driven by a history of economic depravity that endures? The subject of societal change is a hot one yet widely contested- although few would dismiss the beginnings of change.
The musical works of Tracy Chapman`s self titled debut album of 1988 and the collective of the Soulquarian artists in the late 1990`s show a far-reaching black agency and were, and still are, active participants in structuration of larger social and cultural formations, in which all individuals are entangled. They bring awareness to social situations for critical appraisal and acknowledgement with an honest, open and soulful medium of music.
The musical works reflect the Black Power movement`s mentality of black pride, empowerment, beauty, self-determination and unity of the 1970s; they are, therefore, a direct representation of the Black Power ideal for black cultural works that promote collective interests, values and desires.
Identity is used by people in everyday settings to make sense of themselves and of what they share with and how they differ from others. A more current example would have to be the recently released Black Panther movie, with an all-star black cast showcasing technological superiority of the nation of Wakanda, its impeccable traditional practice, moral, not to mention physical, strength of its residents and a general air of prosperity in their isolation.
Tracy Chapman, is a human rights activist for queer- here I use “queer” to stand for any marginalized group irrespective of gender, race or sexuality- empowerment and equality for all.
Music has been a prominent form of resistance/critique/social comment- a creative and innovative form of human expression that is key in our evolution as a whole- throughout our history, and some notorious examples include: the development and successive popularity of the Reggae genre with the distribution of the Rastafarian religion across Jamaica, culminating in the musical works of Bob Marley that stressed the importance of African unity.
Tracy Chapman`s music, although un-allied to a particular political course is raw, soulful and personal. Chapman appeals to the emotional responses of her listeners to generate action through reaction, as above all else she tells real life stories about daily hardships that so many can relate to.
India.Arie ft. Akon - I Am Not My Hair (Official Video)
Music video by India.Arie performing I Am Not My Hair. (C) 2006 Motown Records, a Division of UMG Recordings, Inc.#IndiaArie #IAmNotMyHair #Vevo