On Juneteenth, En Vogue‘s Terry Ellis released her solo single, “Angry Black Woman,” which captures the emotion of racial injustice and police brutality.
She co-wrote the song four years ago after the 2016 death of Eric Garner, during which he cried out, “I can’t breathe” while in a chokehold. In addition to COVID-19, she acknowledges the Black community’s other present-day pandemic: racism.
“I wanted to give a voice to the hurt, the pain, the frustration, and the anger that we as Black people are feeling right now,” she tells ABC Audio. “And I know I can’t speak for all black people, but there’s quite a bit of us feeling like this right now, and I wanted to release that.”
Ellis said putting out the song was “cathartic,” even though she was hesitant about its title and its negative connotation, considering the phrase’s origin.
“It’s a stereotypical term given to us by other people that are not Black,” she explains. “Anger is a natural emotion. I’d rather be angry because I know I’m reaching for my power as opposed to being paralyzed from feeling heartbroken.”
Ellis added that it bothers her when people use the term freely, without asking why.
“Because they don’t want to face the reasons and understand the explanation as to why because they want to continue to keep sweeping it under the rug,” she said. “So now I felt like it’s time to speak about it. I wanted to keep it real.”
By Rachel George
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