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Normani’s nostalgic “Motivation” music video is healing for a Black girl who grew up in the 2000s

Black Women in Entertainment

Normani’s nostalgic “Motivation” music video is healing for a Black girl who grew up in the 2000s

By Angel Powell via

Starting when I was 10 years old, I can remember coming home and watching 106 & Park on BET, waiting for singers like Aaliyah and Beyoncé to walk on set as guests. Like clockwork, every night at 6 p.m., I’d sit in front of the TV, watch the latest music videos, and obsess over them. But looking back, I rarely ever saw a woman who looked like me on that stage. I wanted to see an artist with dark skin so I could say, “That’s me!” And it’s not that these dark skinned singers didn’t exist; I just saw light skinned artists a lot more often because they got media attention. That’s how colorism works.

Almost 20 years later, we still have a long way to go when it comes to ridding the music and entertainment industries of colorism. But one artist has knocked it out of the park for me in the representation department: Normani. If you know even the smallest bit about me, the bit you probably know is how much I love Normani. When I became a fan (shortly before Fifth Harmony’s hiatus), it changed everything for me. She was the artist missing from my life during all those years I watched 106 & Park.

In case you’ve been living under a rock and sleeping on this wonderful woman, allow me to wake you the hell up: Normani is a 23-year-old Atlanta-born entertainer who started her career in Fifth Harmony on the American version of The X Factor. After 6 …

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I am a future butterfly at the stage of growth when I am turning into an adult. I am enclosed in a hard case shell formed by love, family, and friends. It is the hardest stage of becoming a black butterfly. You will encounter many hardships only to come out stronger and better than what you went in. At this stage, you are finding out who you truly are and how to love yourself.

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