One of the ways that we deal with the stresses of life, including the stresses of being brown women in academia and the upcoming elections, is by dancing! [SIDE NOTE: GO VOTE!!!] Sometimes by ourselves and, whenever possible, with others. This post is a list of songs that bring us joy and power when most needed. Shoutout to a couple of the inspirations for this post: the Black Joy Project and Dr. Cristina Yang’s dancing out her stress on Grey’s Anatomy. [Side note: We miss you, Cristina! Come back from Switzerland!]
Songs of power and joy [in no particular order]
“Soy Yo” by Bomba Estéreo. What’s not to love about this song/video?! LOVE Brown Girl sass and self-confidence.
“Nasty” by Janet Jackson. Self-explanatory, we think!
“Umbrella” by Rihanna. Because in the past, Anita has totally given Adriana her umbrella, ella, ella, eh! [Yes, inside joke, so deal.]
“Hungama Ho Gaya” from the movie “Queen.” Because no dance soundtrack is complete without a cheesy Bollywood song.
“Tightrope” by Janelle Monae. We love how she takes on what it means to be a person of color in a white world, but we also just swoon over Monae’s style and swagger.
“Push It” by Salt-N-Pepa. Though Anita was just a wee lass (ahem) when this song first came out, she has grown to love it as much as Adriana!
“My Lovin’ (Never Gonna Get It)” by En Vogue. Four gorgeous women of color with beautiful harmonies? Yes!
All of Lemonade–yaaaas, Queen Bey. ‘Cause she slays and we do too! What’s your favorite song of the album?
“Go Your Own Way” by Cece Segarra for all the times when the truth needs to come out.
“WTF” by Missy Elliott. We adore Missy’s boldness, lyrical creativity, and her choreographic consistency.
“Somos Sur” by Ana Tijoux featuring Shadia Mansour. Tijoux has some amazing songs that critique colonization, racism, and patriarchy and they’re totally danceable!
“Let ‘em say” by Lizzo and Caroline Smith. We love the video shot in Anita’s current hometown, Minneapolis, and the wonderful energy of the two singers!
“Traveling” by Utada Hikaru. Anita’s favorite J-Pop singer from the years she spent in Japan!
This is admittedly a very partial list and we’d love to learn what women of color you (yes, you!) are listening and dancing to. Tell us in the comments. Who did we miss? Who do you like dancing to when this racist, sexist, homophobic….world is getting you down? (OMG, writing that we realize we didn’t link to Selena, Diana Ross, Aretha Franklin…)