6 Inspiring & Uplifting Songs for African American Children

For as long as I can remember I have loved music. When I was supposed to be doing chores like cleaning my bathroom – I’d be singing instead. It usually went like this: walk into bathroom, close door, cut on radio: “Oh! I LOVE THIS SONG”, 2 hours later my mom knocks on the door and discovers her child has gotten caught up in the rapture…of music.

Music is truly a universal language, one that speaks to me deeply. In fact if you follow me on instagram I posted a video of a recent “night of song” I had with one of my BFF’s David. We have these nights often and recently decided to share them with the “masses”.

In any event the songs below have always inspired me to reach higher, do better and have helped to shape my outlook on life. I was introduced to each of them as a child and they definitely aided me in developing my self-confidence and I believe that any child that’s exposed to them will feel the same.

1. One Moment In Time 

You’re a winner for a lifetime
If you seize that one moment in time
Make it shine

2. Black Butterfly

Trumpets, violins, and lyrics like:

Black Butterfly, sailed across the waters
tell your sons and daughters
what the struggle brings
Black Butterfly, set the skies on fire
rise up even higher
so the ageless winds of time can catch your wings

This song can shift the atmosphere…think I’m kidding? Play it for yourself. 

3. When You’ve Been Blessed (Pass It On)

4. Do You Know Where You’re Going To 

5. Man In The Mirror

6. The Glow 

Listen I LOVED this movie. Not only was Bruce Leroy my 80’s crush- damn you to hell Vanity, but I briefly considered studying the art of karate.

Singing:

Well, when you reach that upper level
Your mind body and soul will be one
Hah!
It’s a sacrifice
It takes hard work
It’s a way of life

When you got the glow
You feel the one
When you got the glow
Your body’s gold
So don’t let go
Of the power of elevation

______

What songs inspired you as a child, leave a note in the comments!

[Part 1] – Top 10 Black Fashion Movie Moments

1. Boomerang – Decadence & Glamour

The first time I watched Boomerang I distinctly remember wanting to become some kind of executive when I grew up. Marcus Graham, played by Eddie Murphy made it seem like the coolest job ever. He was a hot-shot, advertising executive that lived the ultimate player’s life – then he meets his match in Robin Givens – a major man – eater. The film  was set in the 90’s where men happily went shopping for suits and fine touches like cashmere scarfs and silk ties.  The women of the time wore clip-on earrings, pearl choker’s, shoulder pads and hair was teased and feathered whether it flowed down your back or was shaped like a mushroom (see Halle Berry).

Other notable moments – anytime Strangé, played by Grace Jones came into the frame & John Witherspoon’s mushroom shirt/jacket/tie “you got to coordinate” moment.

Get into these looks.

2. Love Jones – Dark & romantic minimalism. A poet meets a photographer – swoon. Nina Mosely, played by Nia Long was so chill. She wore a mixture of textures in muted color palettes of black, white,  brown with very little jewelry and always a dark, vampy lip.

Spoiler alert – Music by Maxwell… that’s all!~

3. Mahogany – Diana Ross and Billy Dee Williams. Chile…get your life!

The movie was about Tracy, played by Ross leaving Chicago to become a GREAT fashion designer. She ends up in Rome, gag! This movie should be required viewing at every fashion school.

One of the most inspiring songs ever written is from this movie: (Do You Know Where You’re Going To).

True Story: Diana Ross designed some of the costumes in Mahogany

How these so-called “diverse and progressive fashion institutions” continuously miss the significance of this film..

.

4. B.A.P.S

If white people can have Dumb & Dumber, and Romy and Michelle’s High School Reunion then dammit WE GON’ HAVE B.A.P.S. & Soul Plane!!! Black people, yall gonna let Halle be great!

Anyway, these “Atlanta Diva’s” started out a little rough around the edges, yet remained true to themselves; and after an intuitive trip to Los Angeles they cleaned up pretty nicely.

Listen, Halle was committed to this character.” Billz

Honey, All I know is Halle had ALL the vinyl suits!! Not to mention the most lavish hairstyles and gold teeth!

5. Carmen Jones – The pioneers on which all of the above and myself stand. Carmen Jones was SO mean that in 1992 “the film was selected for preservation in the United States National Film Registry by the Library of Congress as being “culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant.The filmed starred Dorothy Dandridge, Harry Belafonte, Pearl Bailey, Diahann Carroll and others. The costume and musical numbers are so well executed I can’t understand why we don’t have more musical films today.

I hope you enjoyed. So often I see post that list the top fashion films and they never include a black and/or minority film.

As if we don’t have careers, interest, or impact within the fashion industry. So I decided to compile my own list. These films continue to inspire and motivate me.

Come back for Part 2 later in the week. Leave a comment an let me know your favorite Fashion Films starring African Americans!