This post is of four songs by India Arie that I find inspiring and liberating. I share a few lines before each video about what specifically each song means to me and for me.
Just Do You
This song has become my personal anthem. I started listening to it at least three times every morning to start my day. It truly motivates me. 😀
I Am Not My Hair
It’s so interesting to see the recent movement of black women back to the natural hair they’ve eschewed for so many years. My day of liberation from the bonds of hair came back in 1992, and I’ve never looked back. I always say, “Thank goodness I have the head for no hair, because I’d just be looking straight crazy with a bald head, because I’m not growing it back out!” No disrespect to the women who want it straight and/or down their back. I just decided years ago that my beauty wasn’t tied to or defined by my hair.
I remember wanting to always be like my mother. I’m certain that my love for reading and my desire to want to learn to read came from watching my mother always reading. Before I moved out of my parents’ home and went off to college, I spent many years seeking to emulate my mother. She almost never wore makeup, and she hardly ever spent hours and hours prepping and primping trying to look like this or that magazine/television model/personality. She has always had a natural beauty and style all her own that comes from within, and wanting to be like her I never got into all that either. When I listen to “Video,” I think of my mother’s authenticity, some of which I hope she passed on to me.
When I was in middle- and high-school, my friends used to tell me the guys I was attracted to were ugly, and I just couldn’t figure out what made those boys ugly. I didn’t know if I just had bad taste or what. It wasn’t until I went off to college, two different HBCUs, and was immersed in the world of color-consciousness, especially at Howard University, that I realized my secondary school friends were, without knowing any word to use other than ugly, “color struck.” The guys I was attracted to, have always been attracted to, were/are dark-brown or darker, so this is another one of those songs that resonate with me.