Two songs that I am considering to incorporate in my Podcast Assignment are “Dont Touch My Hair” by Solange ft. Sampha and “Glory” by John Legend and Common. I find both songs to be extremely empowering and rather emotional. John Legend and Common’s song, “Glory” interested me from the moment I first heard it. It was originally written for a movie in 2014 called Selma that is based on the 1965 Selma to Montgomery, Alabama voting rights marches that Martin Luther King Jr. led. I was instantly intrigued by this song due to the mash up of John Legend’s calm, emotional singing and Common’s fast-pace, empowering rapping. I chose this song as I would like to learn more about it. I would like to thoroughly examine the words of Common’s rap as many points of racism are touched upon in his verse. I am curious to find out how Common decided to pick out certain events that have happened in history and include them in his rap verse in the song. I am also curious to find out the instruments that are used in this song besides the obvious piano. 

“Glory” raises many issues that our world faces today; inequailty, segregation, injustice, racism and police brutality. However, this song portrays a positive, empowering message to keep fighting and to not give up until these problems no longer have a place in the world. John Legend attempts to convey that in the end, everyone is human. Throughout the song, there are many examples of literary devices. Legend used symbolism and imagery throughout the whole song. I would like to research the song to see if this was intentional. The words he used told a story about the Civil Rights Act. He repeats the line, “One day when glory comes,” indicating that they have not yet achieved glory. John Legend also acts as a voice for all of the people in the world that have been faced with and are constantly battling racism and inequality. He acknowledges his understanding that these individuals live in fear every single day of their lives. Legend is reassuring people that he hears them and he will use his platform to be their voice.

Common’s rap verse in this song connects with moments in history as he says, “That’s why Rosa sat on the bus That’s why we walk through Ferguson with our hands up.” Here he is referring to Rosa Parks and the March on Ferguson. He also includes other moments in history throughout the song as well. I believe that both John Legend’s singing and Common’s rap is very empowering and inspiring. This is an important protest anthem of our current time as it expresses what individuals all over the world are being faced with. This song reassures people that they are not alone in this issue, and even though this is true, one day there will be glory. As far as concerns go for this project, I think my only worry would be that I may not be able to find a lot of new information on this song since its meaning and interpretation is so obvious and straightforward.


“Dont Touch My Hair” By Solange ft. Sampha interested me because it is different from a lot of the protest songs that we are used to listening to. Rather than focusing directly on racism, this song focuses on the beauty and pride of Black people. I also found this song to be a bit more challenging to analyze compared to other protest anthems I have examined. I don’t find this song to have one specific, obvious meaning. This song expresses the anger of feeling like one is unable to express their beauty because of the color of their skin. Moreover, the feeling of not being able to take pride in one’s race. This song expresses how this is the result of how society has portrayed Black people. Additionally, Black culture is also a part of this song as it is expressed that these people feel as though they are unable to celebrate Black culture. Solange uses this song to act as an empowering woman that makes her boundaries, pride and identity known.

This song connects with history since Black people have always faced oppression and racism, they feel unable to express their beauty, pride, and culture. In history, we consistently see this problem occurring again and again. Even today, we see that this issue is still very evident. I find this song to be one of the most inspirational protest anthems that I have come across so far during our class. I admire Solange for the way she expresses herself in this song as it is able to apply to many different types of people no matter what their race may be. This song is important as it gives people of the Black community, especially women, a voice to express their beauty and pride in being Black. This song gives people a platform to relate to which is extremely empowering. As far as concerns that I have for this project, when it comes to this song, I do not have many. I hope I will be able to research this song and find information that allows me to dive deeper and gain a better understanding of this song.