How Monica’s Performance At Black Girls Rock Brought ‘Herstory’ Into The Present

"The phenomenon of Monica's performance was how she presented the herstorical onto a present stage."

Singer Monica performs on stage during the 2019 Black Girls Rock! at NJ Performing Arts Center on August 25, 2019 in Newark, New Jersey.
Photo Credit: Gilbert Carrasquillo/Getty Images

| September 17 2019,

4:37 pm

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If you rock with Black American women, baby, you betta' rock well! Her tunes flow peculiarly, her sway re-births her people's her/history and the rhythms of her love are centered around an essential water, in the re-centering of herself as the feminine perfume of her garden. It is one of the most cherished attributes of her culture — community. And if you rock it well, honey, you rock right into her perfumes of jazz, blues, R&B, soul, neo-soul, hip-hop and countless others. They are her iconic tunes! Rock it Black American pearls! Rock that loving rhythm and blues!

Commitment was the theme of R&B soulstress, Monica, for this year's 2019 performance at Black Girls Rock! The visual aesthetics presented a marriage between the past and the present. It was a stretching of the imagination! What if Black American women's issues surrounding gender and race in the 1970s looked like this? The center of Black American women's rights was the right to be vigilant in their communities. The right for their femininity to be treated with care and respect, the right to be loved by the men of their communities, and the right to have a healthy commitment — whether that be in romantic relationships, community building and healing between Black American women and men.

The phenomenon of Monica's performance was how she presented the herstorical onto a present stage.  Proclaiming one's womanhood, all of the honey-esque fragrances continues to build upon the phenomenon of the drastic change within Black America — the centering of Black American women, as the feminine replicas of their own communities and culture.

Love. It, too, is an energy of women's empowerment! The eloquence exhibited in Monica's performance of her latest song "Commitment," (from her new album Commitment) is earthly.  Her vocal texture breathes a mahogany whisper, which lathers a pictorial essence of what "commitment" looks like. Honesty. Consistency. Listening. Joy. Emotional protection. Intimacy. Poetic words of nourishment. Vision.

Looking at the faces of audience members, you feel the ecstasy of wanting to be part of that nurturing world. That world of Black American women who are gathering together in the spirit of love to nourish their spirits and community back to life. The flow, style, performance and overall song is a soulful lullaby for our current issues on re-claiming their femininity. Just watching the performance on digital television, we are sprinkled with that "what if?" moment. What If our foremothers, during the late '60s and '70s, took to the streets and held signs of "commitment" as their contribution to women's rights? What If, within their very own communities, Black American women held these signs of love, and love's commitment, in the faces of Black American men and their communities, standing together and telling them the stories of their femininity, reminding them that they are women, and in need of certain attributes from them which had gone missing as a result of a painful legacy?

This performance of digital aesthetics was not only entrancing, but it was a masterpiece. In Monica's position as the storyteller, she magically crafted together an aura of the herstorical coming into the present. The audience members, and especially Black American women, got to witness this back-in-time experience while staying in the present moment. It was a wonder. And with the final theatrics, two lines of Black American women marched through open spaces, onto the stage in solidarity for the love they demand. In solidarity with each other, they have taken on the final statement for the affirmation of Black American women's femininity, womanhood and identity. It is the perfect stance — the feelings of vigilance and visibility, a soulful richness in knowing that a silkened elixir caramelized its way through the spirit of every Black American woman there. It glossed any space that had been hardened! It's an inner glow, shimmering upon this ballad's reception.

If many of our Black American foremothers, solely focusing on race during that time, had a statement they wanted to make on their behalf, what would it look like? If they had needs for themselves, unmet needs in their own communities, how would they proclaim them? How would they get the attention from their community, while centering their image as the picture of womanhood for Black America? That masterful, picturesque image, tintedly blue to jewel blackened pearls, was a perfect answer to that question. It empowered this culture of women in our desire to be loved and is another lens into Black American women's experiences, and connection, to women's empowerment. It's their peculiar scent and understanding of the women's movement for their lives — and our beloved songstress propels this relevancy into the current generation.

So, when you rock with Black women, you make sure to rock it well. Make sure to rock your tune to her beat, connecting to her rhythm and her sounds of love! It's her style, baby! Its part of that swag, honey chile! Keep rockin' Black girl, and commit your way to rockin' for love with the one you love!




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