by Megan Smith, OTH 

In honor of women’s month, OTH celebrates Black women artists from the U.S. and Africa for their creative genius and activism projects. Black women are underrepresented, undervalued, and underappreciated in the music and art world despite how valiant their efforts are in fostering change and uplifting humanity. From female empowerment, climate change activism, and children’s rights, to fighting poverty, girls’ education, and anti-racism efforts, these women use their art as a force to be reckoned with. Now, take a moment to appreciate the vibrant colors, unique sounds, joyful dances, and brilliant artistry of these Black women leaders and let your soul be touched by their powerful messages.

Women’s Day Playlist – Via Music in Africa

The cultural contributions of female African musicians cannot be overstressed. Although underrepresented and often marginalized, they are behind some of the most glorious artistic moments across the continent and on the world stage – from crafting enduring records resulting in continual Grammy success, among other high-profile global honours, to serving as beacons of leadership and advocates of pertinent causes.” 


16 Black Women Artist-Activists From the Past & Present That We Must Celebrate – Via The Culture


Nina Simone (1965)

And despite the fact that in the telling and retelling of the stories of our movements for justice and equality, men figure prominently as protagonists, there have been numerous Black women artists who have hoisted the mantle of leadership onto their shoulders and spoken, sung, written and painted us free.”  


Women Whose Music Helped Shape The African Music – Via Sounds of Africa


Angelique Kidjo

Over the years, African music (afrobeats) has made great strides in both sound and recognition; this evolution is often attributed to the greats like Fela. ET Mensah and 2face and more. While they deserve the recognition, there isn’t enough celebration of the female pioneers who have contributed to it; this attitude of levity has trickled down into the industry today, shaping it into one that men largely dominate and has very little regards for women.”