One fierce former TV host, one talented artist, and the sound of hundreds of Stanford University students yassss-ing at the same time.
Melissa Harris-Perry and Solange Knowles joined forces with Ali Shaheed Muhammad of A Tribe Called Quest and journalist Frannie Kelley, co-hosts of the popular podcast Microphone Check, and the music app Stashimi on Stanford’s campus to discuss Black Girl Magic.
“Inspired by racial justice movements, young people are asking what it means to truly live free,” said Jeff Chang, the Executive Director of Stanford’s Institute for Diversity in the Arts. “Who better to explore these ideas with than Microphone Check, Stashimi, Solange and Melissa, whose work is about an inclusive future for all.”
The Wake Forest University professor and Editor at Large at Elle.com and the genius behind the Billboard #1 album, A Seat at the Table, talked about how far black women have come in the 50 years since the Black is Beautiful movement and the start of our modern day shift in consciousness. the discussion explored “the demands on and opportunities presented to high-profile contemporary women;” and “the ideas and language of self-care and community cultivation that are shape-shifting through people who are survivors and prolific creators.”
“We’re opening the floor to musicians to demonstrate their range and awareness, while also giving experts and intellects a chance to talk about the effect musicians’ work has on theirs,” said Kelly. “It looks to us like a lot of people have similar concerns, but very different ways of tackling them. Conceivably, people in different fields could be supporting each other, and reinforcing what they’re both trying to say.”
The Stanford conversation is just the start, as Microphone Check and Stashimi plan to visit other universities in the next six months.
“As a brand we’re constantly trying to create interesting and meaningful moments. The Stanford event is just the beginning of a series of artist talks that will look at the intersection of music, artistry, politics and health. These conversations are past due and need national attention,” said Kosta Elchev, Stashimi CMO.