If you felt like there was a lot more to be learned from Solange's A Seat At The Table, you're clearly not alone. Pitchfork reported Solange's latest album has inspired a college course. Professors and student from Wake Forest University have begun curating "A Seat at the Table Syllabus: The Truths of Young Women of Color." Eight diverse women from the North Carolina university, including former MSNBC host Melissa Harris-Perry, have put together a required reading list that will help fans of the music further their exploration of the themes Solange focuses on.
The scholars behind A Seat At The Table syllabus explained that Solange's latest work is "one of the most reflective and popular albums produced by a young black woman that speaks to issues of race, womanhood, and equality." It's why, in this new year with a new president, they'd like to "invite young women of color, ages 16–30, to have a seat at the table by helping us collect the texts, music, and visual art that speak to our experiences."
To help get the ball rolling, the academics behind the syllabus' creation have provided categories for contributors to keep in mind, all of which are inspired by Solange's album: "Resisting Racism," "Understanding Gender and Sexuality," "The Role of Relationships" and "Nurturing Ourselves." They even have a syllabus aimed at elementary and middle school girls called "A Seat at the Lunch Table."
It's fitting that Solange's album is being used to bring people together, since she admitted during a panel at Stanford University, which included Harris-Perry, that the work brought her closer to herself and her family. “It was one of the best things I could have ever done as a mother, as a wife – as a woman." she said of making the album. "All these things I had so much anger and resentment towards, I understood so much clearer. It brought my son’s father and me closer together.” Now her music will hopefully do the same for others.
Solange isn't the first Knowles to get a course dedicated to her work. After the 2013 surprise release of Beyoncé's self-titled album, Harvard Business School professor Anita Elberse took a closer look at how exactly an artist of Beyoncé's caliber managed to pull such a feat off.
Beyoncé's Lemonade also earned its own syllabus by Candice Benbow. The syllabus was created to help "unpack the rich Black feminist and womanist themes that permeate the visual album." Through the hashtag #LemonadeSyllabus, fans suggested books, films, songs and poetry — "primarily by Black women — that they believed best accompanied Lemonade and spoke to the essence of Black womanhood in its historical and contemporary manifestations." Benbow is also a contributor to the new Solange syllabus.
Those looking to help build the syllabus can submit their ideas for any of the aforementioned themes using "texts, music/audio, art, and other creative mediums." All submissions must be received by Jan. 31.