Solange recently accepted the first-ever Lena Horne Prize for Artists Creating Social Impact, over the weekend. The Houston singer accepted the award at the Town Hall in New York City, as Essence reports.
Fellow artists such as Rapsody, Common, Andra Day, and BJ the Chicago Kid were in attendance alongside Solange’s mother, Tina Knowles Lawson, Horne’s daughter Gail Lumet Buckley, and her granddaughter Jenny Lumet, and journalist Tamron Hall.
While Solange accepted her honor, the “Stay Flo” singer shared some of the lessons she learned when her “life changed drastically” while making her latest release When I Get Home.
“This album marked a colossal pivot moment in my life that I’m still in the thick of the lessons today,” Solange said. “Suddenly there came a great, great fear. Fear of the unknown, fear of trust, fear of love, fear of silence, fear of having to confront things and pain that I have buried too deep, deep inside. It was easy for me to show up and be the unstoppable woman for everyone else, but terrifying for me to be that woman for myself.”
Solange then expressed her gratitude to her mother, friends, and hometown for uplifting the singer and “checking on me daily, coming over to my house just to lay and laugh with me.”
“My mother made me feel a little less afraid during those days and brought home to me. She came over every day for a few weeks to cook me okra and brown rice and cornbread with her little book of prayers. My beautiful hometown and neighborhood of Third Ward Houston held me … My dear friends, all of which are here tonight. They lifted me so high with so much love and so much hope,” Solange shared.
During her speech, Solange also discussed the importance of allowing one’s self to evolve and become “all the things.” “I know that these speeches are meant to be aspirational, leaving you feeling warm and fuzzy and inspiring you to be yourself,” Solange added.
“But I’d like to have the space right now to be all of these things. I’m honored to be all the things that my mother and my dear friend Toyin [Oijih Odutola, a visual artist] have said, but I’m also in a moment of great transition and transformation and we all deserve the space to be all of those things — the space to love my people, to vow to continue fighting for us, for our peace, uplift us, make us seen and heard, celebrate our undeniable supreme light while trying really hard to find my own.”