BLACK VOICES

Artist SHAVONE. Gives A Powerful Message On The Magic Of Black Women In '4C'

“I think it’s so important for our stories to be told the way we want them to, with our voice, in our voice,” the multitalented rapper told HuffPost.

SHAVONE. is making sure the world knows the beauty and magic of black women during Women’s History Month.

On Tuesday, she released her debut video, “4C.” The title is based off of a tightly coiled hair type common among the diaspora. And though the natural hair movement is steadily debunking stereotypes that natural hair is unprofessional, undesirable and unkempt, this texture consistently goes underrepresented and dismissed. But more than just a celebration of hair, SHAVONE. honors the wholeness and versatility of black women in her Curtis Taylor Jr.-directed video.

“[4C] is for black women first and then it’s for everybody, because part of the point of the video is to show that we have spectrum, that we’re not all the same, we have nuance,” SHAVONE., who drew inspiration from the salon her mom owned, told HuffPost. “We’re specific, we’re unique, and even with all of our likeness and differences, we still can find room to stand together and hold each other up.”

Shot in Brooklyn, primarily at hair stylist Susy Oludele’s salon, the classically trained artist highlighted various black women, well-known and lesser-known, and gave them the agency to showcase their authentic self, a privilege seldom afforded to us. Oludele appears in the video along with model Nestreya, actress Nnenna Ngwu, Art Hoe Collective curator Gabrielle Richardson and activist Blair Imani, among others.

As much as it’s a celebration, it’s also a reminder of the resilience black women have as a result of the injustices and microaggressions we face. “They tried to bury us, but didn’t know we were seeds,” she raps. She added that it was important for her to include men in the video to emphasize the importance of men fighting for black women.

“I really just had this vision of even uplifting black women and having our voices there but also having male allies in the visuals too,” she said. “I think it’s important to depend on our allies and us working in tandem with them for change, to support this change that we all know that we need to see.”

With her music and the collective she founded, Magic In Her Melanin, SHAVONE. is aiming to create room for black creatives to thrive. 

“I think it’s so important for our stories to be told the way we want them to, with our voice, in our voice.”

 Watch “4C” above. 

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