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‘And I’m Holy by My Own’: Power and Politics in Black Music

Copy of African american Music Appr. month

June is Black Music Appreciation Month and at CFJ, we want to celebrate some of the artists that have us vibing every week as we fight for racial and educational justice! Listen to our #BlackMusicMonth Playlist on Spotify.

Here are 5 of the artists inspiring our staff the most, and why:

Nina Simone

Portrait of the singer Nina Simone, October 1969. (Photo by Jack Robinson/Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

“One of the greatest black musicians of all time is Nina Simone. The song that resonates with me the most is ‘black is the color of my true loves hair.’ It is a simple song with simple lyrics but the passion behind her voice allows you to imagine being in love with a person with black hair. “

Jamila Woods

“She is crazy talented and her lyrics make you want to laugh, cry and build a better future for your community. She’s also an activist in Chicago, writing arts curriculum for the city’s public schools, mentoring youth and organizing the world’s largest youth poetry festival each year. I want to be her in my next life.”

Anderson Paak 

“He is from my hometown of OXNARD! and his music allows me to dance, groove, feel the funk, everything. Being unapologetically himself is something I aspire to practice!”

J. Cole

“His ability to produce music, create his own label, talk about toxic masculinity, white-supremacy, police-violence, etc. He is the epitome of staying true to your roots, your community, and uplifting each other through love and music.”


“Solange helps remind us that Black femmes continue to create and shape all forms of dance and popular culture.”

“She’s so powerful and uses her platform to elevate real issues oppressing Black women. Her messages in “Don’t Touch My Hair,” and “Mad” in particular are amazing, and she continues to push the boundaries of avant-garde in R&B with her latest album.


Listen to these empowering artists and more on our Spotify playlist.

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