Solange Knowles received the first Lena Horne Prize for Artists Creating Social Impact on Friday in New York City’s Town Hall.
During her acceptance speech, Solange talked about her latest LP “When I Get Home” and what she learned through the writing and recording process.
“This album marked a colossal pivot moment in my life that I’m still in the thick of the lessons today,” she 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,” added Solange.
She then said that her mother helped her tremendously during that difficult time by visiting her daily, bringing a prayer book and cooking okra, brown rice and cornbread.
Solange thanked her hometown of Houston, Texas, as well, plus her friends. She also spoke about having the proper space in her life to make some positive changes.
“I know that these speeches are meant to be aspirational, leaving you feeling warm and fuzzy and inspiring you to be yourself,” Solange explained. “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] have said,” she continued. “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.”
A bunch of celebrities attended the event, and some spoke, including Solange’s mother Tina Knowles Lawson, Rapsody, Tamron Hall, BJ the Chicago, and Martin Luther King III, who said Solange “sings freedom songs for our time.”
Meanwhile, Knowles Lawson said that Solange had shown signs of activism as a child, like when she created a petition and tried to get a “bad teacher” fired.
“Solange has a creative, energetic soul,” said Knowles Lawson. “She was born with her mama’s fiery spirit, thank you very much.”