Our collective sister and bearer of all things soulful, Solange, was covered for Harper's Bazaar in the way that few artists have ever been. For the October issue, Solange appeared on two digital covers that express "the duality of me in these moments", in her words. For her, there's freedom in not having to exist as one or the other.
The entire concept was produced by Solange, who's adorned in black designers like LaQuan Smith, Christopher Kane, and Y/Project. She tapped Naima Green to photograph her and consult on the shoot. Time and time again we are gifted with so much light, love, and understanding from Solange. In our darkest times, she shows up with an album, visual project, or, in this case, a digital cover that speaks volumes.
"I heard a voice saying you deserve joy. Applause from my loved ones and heroes wasn't gonna do. Another voice, a critical one, said you got a lot of nerve chasing joy and freedom when you already have so much, but I went for it anyway."
The poem on lessons spoke louder than the others, especially in the midst of a global pandemic. It feels as though we're all learning lessons never forged by living generations, or done in the wrong way that history has repeated itself. She explores the lesson of heritage, of friendships, of letting go to move forward. The way Solange bares her soul for the world, her vulnerability is contagious because if she can, you can.
"Sometimes I grieve all of the loss, looking for pillars or anchors to hold on to. Some days I see so much promise in my future despite the chaos around me because I woke up a Black woman with this spirit in my heart. If I move, I am not running. If I move, it is by choice. I feel good knowing that I surrendered and found answers in my stillness."
The artist published a selection of personal poems and essays that aptly and divinely capture the emotional roller coaster of the year 2020. The writing centers around self, home, and the foundations of finding your way through the world. Solange so eloquently details the stages of her journey that taught her the most, or memories from her childhood that built her into the powerful woman she is today.
She speaks of her mother's influence and how she worked fearlessly to build a tribe for her daughters at a young age. A tribe that actually cared for them, sought their best interests out instead of their advantages.
"My mother loved me a million different ways. One of the ways my mother loved me was by surrounding me with many a tribe who could care for me."
It's not clear if these words are so ethereal because they are Solange's, or if the mere chaos of this moment is made clear by the eloquent words. To see vulnerability on the page so transparently reignites one's own inner flame, and we can never thank Solange enough for providing that to us.
To read Solange's full feature with Harper's Bazaar, click the link.
Featured image via Solange/Instagram