I Don't Mean to be Dramatic, But "A Seat at the Table" Was the Album that Saved Me

September 30, 2016. 

My best friend was gone, people I trusted had betrayed me, it was evident that this country was headed for disaster, and I had just suffered a sexual violation just over a week before. 

Enter Solange.

I've been a years-long fan of the carefree, alternative R&B she put out, always quietly, as if she enjoyed simmering just below the surface of mega-stardom. This time, however, was different. This time, talks of her album were getting buzz weeks in advance. It would be something we've never heard before, at least not in the mainstream. While I anticipated its release, I didn't know how much I would come to cherish the project or feel its impact on my life.

Never had I experienced a solemn joy, or electric melancholy before I took A Seat at the Table

In a world where it felt like my voice didn't matter, Solange was there. At a time where I was completely encapsulated by grief, Solange was there. Even better, she wasn't alone. Our talks were never one on one; seated across and beside me were Sampha, Q-Tip, Lil' Wayne, Kelela, Master P, even Solo's parents, and still so many others. It's not as easy to feel by yourself when there's a village surrounding you as fast as you can hit play. 

I could go on and on about the complexity of the lyrics, the elegance of the visuals, and the impact A Seat had on the diaspora - and beyond. But today, what's most important to me is that Solange gave me permission to simmer in and process my pain, but demanded that I push through in return. 

We weren't built to break, but even if we do, we're never too broken to one day be whole again.