Kehlani Discusses the Emotional Impact of Black Lives Matter and Her Coping Mechanisms
The sensational singer’s candor is music to our ears.
As a queer black queen, paving her way in a predominantly white industry, Kehlani is no stranger to adversity. The brilliant boss lady flirts with discomfort and continues to act as an unapologetic leader, disruptor, and game-changer. She candidly discusses difficult topics and serves as a bold Black Lives Matter advocate (in both her words and deeds). Shortly after the “Blackout Tuesday,” fad went viral, Kehlani questioned the purpose and productivity of the Instagram trend. She suggested that it may be more self-serving, an inconspicuous form of virtue signaling, than a pragmatic approach to confronting ingrained racism. Soon after, a flood of posts surfaced informing well-intentioned, aspiring Black Lives Matter allies that these black squares were indeed burying Black Lives Matter content.
— zafarmanzoor (@zafarwestern) August 6, 2020
Although the singer has been reluctant to attend demonstrations, she is fearful of contracting the virus and compromising the health of her newborn, she has still emerged as an authentic leader. She has proven her commitment to the cause by supporting friends detained by police during peaceful protests and providing them with essential self-care products. She revealed to Teen Vogue, “I just dropped off some bath salt and CBD to a bunch of the homies the other day who were out protesting and got arrested, and their bodies were all sore.”
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i’m not sure many things matter to me more than motherhood. i whole heartedly believe there’s nothing more important i could be doing. the look in her eyes when she calls out for me. the smile after she kisses my face and holds my cheek. when she’s afraid and squeezes me, burying her face into my neck.. i honestly don’t know who i was before her. who i was before i knew this love. all i can hope is that God keeps giving… i need that soccer team life! my biggest dream is the most simple. happy healthy large family. family is all i am, family is WHO i am. thank you to my little everything.. you don’t even know what you’ve done to me 🌻
In a recent interview with Bustle, Kehlani opened up about how she’s grappling with systemic racism. She shared how she is supporting both the movement and her emotional wellbeing simultaneously. The singer revealed some fruitful coping mechanisms she employs to preserve her mental health, “When I do feel it [emotional strain], which I do, acknowledging that I have a way to assist others is the biggest balance for me,” she told writer Sylvia Obell. “There’s literally nothing that feels better than being of some type of service…”
Kehlani Shared How She’s Coping With Grief and Supporting BLM Protests In a new interview with Bustle, Kehlani talked about working through grief and helping Black Lives Matter protestors.
— ⚡️CommonWhiteGirl⚡️ (@_teen_problem) August 6, 2020
The singer noted that the murder of 19-year-old activist Oluwatoyin “Toyin” Salau particularly moved her. As a fiery feminist and vocal member of the LGBTQ+ community, Kehlani is dedicated to making gender violence a fundamental focus of the Black Lives Matter narrative. The movement has largely centered on cisgender heterosexual black men, despite black women, especially black queer women, being hyper-marginalized. Kehlani demands “some type of real step of accountability from inside the community,” or a united effort to protect black women.
rest in peace Oluwatoyin Salau
i wish you were fought for how you went out and fought for the world.
i am so sorry. my whole heart hurts wit this. wow.
say her name. 💔
— Kehlani (@Kehlani) June 15, 2020
In hindsight, the artist’s recent album, It Was Good Until It Wasn’t (released on May 8, 2020), can be perceived as an ominous omen of imminent horrors. In light of the augmenting fear surrounding the global pandemic and rising police brutality cases against Black civilians, Kehlani’s powerful album appears to faithfully foreshadow the panic and terror entangled in the year 2020. The album art even depicts the singer owl-eyed, peering anxiously over her backyard fence to the outside world, and, on the backside, gaping at a backdrop of devastation and destruction. We commend the singer’s candor and look forward to seeing what she will accomplish moving forward.