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On Thursday (Jan. 2),  some social media users were in a frenzy regarding a Vanity Fair film critic’s comments about Blue Ivy’s features (Blue Ivy, of course, is the daughter of Beyonce and Jay-Z). There was a separate issue (but a similar problem) where singers Ari Lennox and Teyana Taylor were being compared to rottweilers.

Houston rapper Megan Thee Stallion had taken to social media to share a photo of her, Beyonce, and Blue Ivy from a New Year’s Eve celebration. Vanity Fair‘s film critic, K. Austin Collins tweeted, “I have a feeling the Jay-Z face genes are about to really hit Blue Ivy and I feel so sorry for her,” which he later deleted and apologized for.

A so-called fan of Ari Lennox tweeted, “Ari Lennox and Teyana Taylor’s ability to have dangerously high sex appeal while simultaneously looking like rottweilers will always amaze me.” Lennox retweeted the tweet and commented, “People hate blackness so bad” before continuing to send out a number of passionate tweets about the subject.

However, Lennox wasn’t done with the situation. She also did an Instagram Live session where she fully discussed her disdain for what was said about her and Teyana Taylor. During the session, she pointed out how black women are torn down and disrespected in ways that other women are not.

The two disheartening events caused a myriad of people to discuss colorism, misogynoir, anti-blackness, self-hate, and racism on social media. As a counterclaim to the false notion that Black women and Black girls’ features are less than desirable and are any less beautiful than anyone else’s, we’ve put together a list of 9 songs that celebrate Blackness.

James Brown’s “Say It Loud-I’m Black and I’m Proud”

"Say It Loud It Loud ~ I'm Black & I'm Proud"

James Brown wrote and recorded this funk song in 1968. "Say It Loud ~ I'm Black & I'm Proud" is one of Mr. Brown's signature songs, and one of the most popular Black Power anthems of the 1960s.

James Brown’s “Say it Loud, I’m Black and I’m Proud” is arguably the most unapologetic song that celebrates blackness. Released in August 1968, months following the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., the single landed at the top of Billboard‘s Rhythm and Blues singles chart, and remained there for six weeks.

Beyonce “Brown Skin Girl” ft. Blue Ivy Carter, Wizkid, and SAINt JHN

Beyoncé - Brown Skin Girl ft. Blue Ivy Carter, Wizkid & SAINt JHN (Video)

The Lion King: The Gift album featuring "Brown Skin Girl" available now: Amazon Music: Apple Music: Deezer: iTunes: Soundcloud: Spotify: Tidal: YouTube Music: Beyoncé: #BrownSkinGirl #TheGiftAlbum #Beyoncé #BlueIvy

Beyonce’s “Brown Skin Girl” featuring her eldest daughter Blue Ivy Carter, Wizkid, and SAINt JHN is from the Houston singer’s compilation album The Lion King: The Gift which served as a companion record to The Lion King‘s 2019 soundtrack.  The song is a beautiful ode to brown skin black girls, and on August 3, 2019, it peaked at No. 1 on Billboard and garnered the Ashford & Simpson Songwriter’s Award at the 2019 BET Soul Train Awards.

Ari Lennox’s “Shea Butter Baby”

Ari Lennox, J. Cole - Shea Butter Baby (Official Music Video)

"Shea Butter Baby" Out Now: Directed by Bennett Johnson Subscribe For More: See Ari Lennox on Tour: Follow Ari Lennox: #AriLennox #JCole #SheaButterBaby Shea Butter Baby Shea Butter, baby Fuckin' up your pillow Touch me, take me Kiss me love me, impress me Pull up,

Ari Lennox’s “Shea Butter Baby,” which is the title track to her debut album, is a sweet and sultry ode to lovemaking while having one’s skin moisturized in the finest of shea butter. Known for its healing properties and multiple uses, including in hair products and soaps, shea butter is widely used by people of the African diaspora.

Ciara’s “Melanin” ft. Lupita Nyong’o, City Girls, La La Anthony, and Ester Dean

Ciara - Melanin ft. Lupita Nyong'o, Ester Dean, City Girls, La La

"Melanin" Now Streaming:

In 2019, Ciara rounded up actress Lupita Nyong’o, singer-songwriter, Ester Dean, Yung Miami of the City Girls, and her “BFF’ La La Anthony for her single “Melanin.” The track is a fun anthem celebrating melanin. On “Melanin” other black artists such as Megan Thee Stallion, Cardi B, Rihanna, and Mary J. Blige received a shout out.

Lady of Rage “Afro Puffs”

The Lady Of Rage - Afro Puffs

From the 1994 Soundtrack to: "Above The Rim"..... Get Rage's Music: & Robin Yvette Allen (born June 11, 1968), better known by her stage name The Lady of Rage, is an American rapper and actress best known for collaborations with several Death Row Records artists, including Dr. Dre and Snoop Doggy Dogg on the seminal albums The Chronic and Doggystyle.

Lady of Rage’s 1994 single “Afro Puffs” was an assertive proclamation about how tough the Los Angeles rapper was. However, the song was also an unapologetic celebratory anthem for afro puffs, which during the time wasn’t necessarily a trending hairstyle in the black community. The song was featured on Above the Rim: The Soundtrack.

Solange’s “Don’t Touch My Hair” ft. Sampha

Solange - Don't Touch My Hair ft. Sampha (Official Music Video)

"A Seat at the Table" Digital Album Available Now!

Solange’s “Don’t Touch My Hair” is another celebratory black hair anthem. The single came from Solange’s highly-lauded 2016 album A Seat At the Table. On the record, the Houston singer talks about how her hair is so much more than just hair, it’s a part of her soul.

Wale’s “BGM”

Wale - BGM (Official Music Video)

New album "Wow...That's Crazy" out now: Catch Wale on tour: Wale - "BGM" Lyrics: If someone like you would love me (2x) Yea Got her in my phone as BGM And her (ha) Black benzes Black fancy Black bag full of old

Wale’s “BGM” from his 2019 album Wow…That’s Crazy is an ode to black women from a black man’s perspective. The D.C. rapper talks about the inequalities that black women face in America and how he feels obligated to honor them on the song. The video for the track also highlights many different shades of black women.

Nitty Scott’s “La Diaspora”


Nitty Scott's "La Diaspora" short film tells the whimsical story of Negrita In Wonderland; a journey into an indigenous utopia that celebrates diasporic identity and tribal life in the pre-colonized world. "Creature!"

Nitty Scott‘s “La Diaspora” is a proclamation for the proud Afro-Latina rapper who ends the track by saying “Yo soy Negra y Latina,” which is Spanish for “I am Black and Latina.” The Black Puetro Rican artist honors her indigenous roots on the record which is featured on her 2017 album Creature!.  In fact, the entire album was also dubbed a “rich proclamation of Afro-Latina womanhood” by Remezcla.

Beyonce’s “Formation”

Beyoncé - Formation

Grammy nominated best video of the year "Formation" from LEMONADE the Visual Album Available Now! iTunes: TIDAL: Follow Beyoncé Website: Facebook: Twitter: Follow Beyoncé Listen to Beyoncé iTunes: Spotify: Instagram:

Beyonce’s 2016 single “Formation” from her sixth studio album Lemonade subtly celebrates the singer’s black Southern roots. However, it’s the song’s music video that hits home. Directed by Melina Matsoukas (Queen & Slim), the video was highly praised for depicting black Americans who aren’t frequently featured in mainstream media. “Formation” won a Grammy Award for Best Music Video.

Glennisha Morgan is a Detroit-bred multimedia journalist and writer. She writes about intersectionality, hip-hop, pop culture, queer issues, race, feminism, and her truth. Follow her on Twitter @GlennishaMorgan.