Rock and roll was founded by a Black Woman named Sister Rosetta Tharpe.
The white washing of rock and roll is an example of how the pervasiveness of white supremacy goes unseen to the point of becoming commonplace. Everywhere. It speaks to how history has been weaponized — manipulated and distorted so as to keep us from ourselves. The act of erasure is dehumanizing. The white washing of rock and roll is an example of how we are robbed of our tools, and our vehicles, and our wholeness. I found music 6 years ago when I was living in NYC. I took my guitar with me everywhere - and on multiple occasions, I had strangers approach me to say some variation of “do you play that thing or do you just carry it around?”
Eventually I would discover that this thing I was made to feel wrong for doing, was always for me. It’s only natural that I would wield my magic here, when rock and roll itself is born from the magic of a Black Woman. They call her the “God Mother” of the genre. On some level they’re probably trying to make her second to the “King” but that description works for me once you give those words the weight they deserve. Sister Rosetta Tharpe is the GODMOTHER who birthed Rock and Roll.
Black Women in this space having nothing to explain to nobody.
Music has brought me more healing and magic than I could ever begin to describe. It is where I process, plan, and become. I was always meant to do this — but my path here was made unnecessarily cumbersome and painful by the things that were kept from us. In due time, the truth always rises. And while it may not seem like it, that’s actually the season we’re in. This poem Black Girl Rise — is for us. For Black Girls who have more magic than they know what to do with. For Black Girls who feel ordinary and unsure and uneasy with their gifts and their longings. There is a world within you - waiting for you to come home to it. However that manifests for you isn’t the point — and if you don’t see it yet, then know that I’m out here and I see and feel it in you. I am rooting for you unequivocally. We deserve to thrive - and the joy we create in the world will be a result of the joy we first cultivate in ourselves. Your gifts are your tools. To process, to plan, and to become. To speak truth and fire. Your doubt stems from what you’ve been taught, lies you’ve been told, but underneath it — all that remains is what you actually are. It is worth it to search for what that is, because what that is, is glorious. When we create space for our humanity, everything begins to change. It starts with us — within us. That is where we will learn that we are worthy. And with the light of that truth, that is how we rise.