"At the heart of many of the works released by major black creatives in 2016 is a clear-eyed vision of the future, unflinchingly honest yet ultimately hopeful. Forgoing the camp and fantasy associated with the aesthetics of Afrofuturism, the artists who shone brightest this year – even as the political climate attempted to dull their luster – released epic-scale commentaries on a painful past and ominous present. In a year when one of our lifetime's biggest elections was won by someone who cannot fathom or understand progress, these artists transformed harsh truth into hard-won optimism for the trying days ahead.
With this trio of powerful albums, Beyoncé, Rihanna and Solange infiltrated the mainstream, demonstrating that supposedly niche narratives of black femininity carry urgent messages for all of America. In the face of what looks to be a dismal four years for many communities, the songs on Lemonade, Anti and A Seat at the Table feel like rays of light, signifiers of a hopeful resistance and a uniquely personal revolution."
ROLLING STONE: For Us, by Us: How Black Women Radicalized Pop in 2016