Can’t Kill my Vibe
Historically, music has been a core part of the lives of Black people. It is a go to for celebration, worship, romance, chilling, a source of encouragement and motivation – some lyrics are just perfect for when you need that extra pick up, in order to stay focused.
Black Women Reclaiming their Vibes Through Music
In the 80s and 90s, songs by young Black males, and sometimes young Black Women artists were banned in many homes, due to their lyrics, because they were considered violent and obscene. However, in recent times – with the power of positivity/hope that has always been embedded within Black music, youths who are experiencing difficulties, have been known to use the lyrics from music to express themselves, when they lack the words to do so, thus the power of music in the lives of Black youths, cannot be underestimated.
With the influx of young Black female artists globally, young Black women are being motivated, not only by seeing female artists climbing to the top of the charts but also by their lyrics, which is the motivation for this project.
This project stems from songs by popular female artists with lyrics that are empowering and could help Young Black Women to navigate their configurations and lived realities. We focus on Black female youths in Toronto, between the ages of 18 and 30. Young black women are “ticking dynamites” (that is, full of potential, dreams, and goals) but are often faced with challenges of the intersectionality of race, gender, age and sometimes class. The power of Black women's songs can be used to raise conversations about how young Black women are confronting these challenges, creating new possibilities and maintaining a positive outlook on life through listening to music.
Can't Kill My Vibe
We are thrilled to be hosting an in-person event which will take place on June 10th, 2023!
We look forward to an inspiring and memorable event. We warmly encourage you to extend the invitation to your friends who identify as Black women between the ages of 18 and 30-- as we strive to create a supportive and inclusive space for all young Black women.
Please contact us for more signup information!
By attending, you acknowledge and consent that your image, voice, and any other recordings of you may be captured and used in promotional materials, online content, or future event-related activities. If you have any concerns, please let us know beforehand, and we will try to accommodate your request.
Can't Kill My Vibe:
Black Women Reclaiming Their Vibes Through Music
Empowering Narratives and Resilient Spirits Emerge in a Groundbreaking Event, Sponsored by Sesheme Foundation
In a vibrant and empowering event titled "Can't Kill My Vibe: Black Women Reclaiming Their Vibes Through Music," a group of young Black women gathered to share their experiences and insights on how music shapes their identities. Led by two esteemed scholars, Tinyan and Soji, the event highlighted the transformative power of music, its impact on self-perception, and its role in building a resilient community. From the moment the discussion began, it was clear that this was a gathering of strong, determined, and dynamic young Black women. The participants, a diverse group of university students and professionals, expressed gratitude for the opportunity to engage in a dialogue seldom seen in mainstream settings in Toronto. The space allowed them to explore the intersections of their identities as Black women and music enthusiasts.
Among the many genres explored gospel emerged as a beacon of spiritual connection for the participants. Their heartfelt stories showed its power to uplift, inspire, and connect with one's soul. The soothing melodies and messages of hope were a balm to their spirits, reminding them of their strength and resilience.
Old-school R&B also played a significant role, with participants reminiscing about songs that romanticized Black women and celebrated their beauty in all shades. This appreciation for diversity and representation was a recurring theme throughout the event. While the participants celebrated empowering songs, they also candidly discussed the darker side of some modern music. They lamented the dehumanization and hypersexualization of Black women, which they found prevalent in certain rap and hip-hop tracks. The event provided a critical space for acknowledging the harmful impact such portrayals can have on self-esteem and societal perceptions of Black women.
As the saying goes, music is a mirror that reflects the joys and struggles of life. Many of the songs discussed resonated with the participants on a deeply personal level, addressing issues they faced daily. Through these songs, they found a sense of understanding, validation, and connection with others who shared similar experiences. A resounding message that emerged was the importance of Black female artists who use their music as a platform for change. These artists courageously address social issues, body positivity, and the celebration of African heritage, empowering Black women to embrace their identities without compromise.
Participants expressed how being part of this groundbreaking event allowed them to be more mindful of the music they consume and the artists they support. By recognizing the impact of music on their emotional well-being and identity, they pledged to be more discerning in their choices, uplifting positive narratives while rejecting harmful stereotypes. The event’s significance extended beyond the discussions in the room. It highlighted the urgent need for more research and conversations surrounding the experiences of Black women. These resilient voices deserve recognition and amplification in the broader cultural narrative, which overlooks their unique perspectives too often.
"Can't Kill My Vibe" was an event that resounded with unity and empowerment. As Black women reclaimed their vibes through music, they demonstrated the power of community, resilience, and self-love. The event provided a unique insight into the intersection of music and identity, inspiring participants and observers to embrace their truths and champion positive change. Through their shared experiences, these young Black women affirmed the strength of their voices, the power of their stories, and the potential of music to shape a brighter future for all. As the echoes of this groundbreaking event continue to resonate, it is clear that Black women are reclaiming their vibes and forging a path of empowerment, one empowering melody at a time.
Stay connected with Sesheme Foundation for more updates on this and other projects and events!
Tinyan is a consultant, researcher, traveler, and entrepreneur. She is also a PhD student in Geography and Planning researching financial inclusion and women entrepreneurship at Queen’s University. For over 15 years, Tinyan has committed her professional career to working with women and youth to become economically self-sufficient and fulfill their destiny.
Adesoji Babalola is a PhD candidate in Cultural Studies at Queen's University. His research interests intersect youth pop culture in Africa, African studies, Black studies, and linguistic anthropology.
Tanto is a creative soul and lifestyle content creator based in Toronto Canada
Tanto wears many hats, she has built a career around inclusive content creation, direction, and storytelling as well as inspiring the next generation.
She is also the Ceo of BTSbyTanto where she does event creation and captures beautiful memorable moments for her clients.
Debra is a current law student at the University of Leicester. She has an Honours Bachelor of Arts from the University of Toronto Mississauga where she double majored in Political and Sociology with a minor in Women and Gender studies. Debra works as an associate manager, programs and services for the Federation of Black Canadians and does EDI/programs consulting for organizations. She is a also going to be a summer law student at Bookman Law professional corporation in Toronto.
As a community advocate with passion in diversity and equity, Debra aims to be the change she wants to see in society and uses her spare time towards creating pathways for others to do the same.
My name is Ruth-Ebony Lyttle. I am a Nutrition and Food student, minoring in Psychology, at Toronto Metropolitan University (TMU). I intend on becoming a Registered Dietitian to enable people to improve their health and well-being. Some of my hobbies include dancing, playing volleyball, and hiking, or going for walks on trails. It goes without saying, but I do also enjoy cooking and baking, more specifically Jamaican food, as I am a recent immigrant to Canada. To stay true to my roots, I continue to listen to Caribbean music. Afro-beats, rap, and hip-hop are also at the top of my music preference. However, my music taste is quite broad, ranging from pop and K-pop to theme songs from anime. One interesting initiative I have worked on is with the TMU Urban Farm as a field assistant. Now I am the junior student advisor for the Harvest Collective and Learning Circle, a Black Food Sovereignty initiative at the Urban Farm that aims to reshape food systems in advocating for Black food justice.
Hi I am Chelsea (She/ Her),
I am the coordinator of the Anti- Black Racism and Systemic Discrimination Collective of Peel. My passion is to provide children, youth, and vulnerable communities the tools and resources they need to achieve greatness. I have an educational background in Child and Youth Studies from Brock University, where I gained a deeper understanding of theoretical and practical approaches to understanding children and youth, including topics of diversity, exceptionalities, cultures, inequalities, and much more.
My educational background opened up paths to my professional/ career roles. Within my previous professional roles, I have experience working alongside organizations to provide information on community resources within the Peel Region such as funding, counselling, child care, etc. I also volunteer with organizations to provide peer support to youth. Some of my interests include music, trying out new restaurants, traveling, and I am also a big movie lover.
If you are a young Black woman, between the ages of 18 and 30, and would like to be involved with this awesome project, please feel free to send us an email at Taylor@sesheme.ca or Dm us at the links below!