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November 27, 2014

Response to Ferguson: Systemic Problems Require Systemic Solutions

Ferguson ASSOCIATED PRESS

Decades of segregation and inequality in Ferguson, as well as most American metropolitan areas, have fostered a racial inequality exacerbated by the criminalization of not just poverty, but the criminalization of black and brown bodies. Too many whites are too willing to believe that a black body poses a threat.

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It's not often that the sole sibling of a superstar can evolve into a unique individual whose identity and image is distinctively her own.

But, everyone can't be Solange Knowles.

The sassy singer recently sat down with BlackVoices.com for a candid discussion about everything from leaving music for her son, why Prince will always be her favorite and how the media world has things twisted.

Earlier this year, Solange (as she is mostly known) released her sophomore album 'Sol-Angel and the Hadley St. Dreams' to little fan-fare but she isn't stressing the Nielsen Soundscan numbers one bit.

Snoop Dogg
laid down a verse on her single 'I Decided,' and the tune can currently be heard in the new L'Oréal hair care commercial, in which she stars alongside her sister Beyoncé.

Of the album's first week sales, she says she "was really excited about it. I sold 45,000 [copies], which I felt was an accomplishment. Katy Perry had a number one song for six or seven weeks and we sold the same thing the first week."

Solange Pictures

    Solange Knowles and Monica Cruz attends the MANGO flagship store celebration dinner at Shang Restaurant - Thompson LES Hotel on November 20, 2008 in New York City..Celebrities Help MANGO Celebrate The Relaunch of Its Soho Flagship - Dinner.Shang Restaurant - Thompson LES Hotel.New York, NY United States.November 20, 2008.Photo by Jamie McCarthy/WireImage.com..To license this image (56231768), contact WireImage.com

    WireImage.com

    Solange Knowles and Monica Cruz attend the MANGO flagship store celebration dinner at Shang Restaurant - Thompson LES Hotel on November 20, 2008 in New York City..Celebrities Help MANGO Celebrate The Relaunch of Its Soho Flagship - Dinner.Shang Restaurant - Thompson LES Hotel.New York, NY United States.November 20, 2008.Photo by Jamie McCarthy/WireImage.com..To license this image (56231743), contact WireImage.com

    WireImage.com

    Singer Solange Knowles attends the MANGO flagship store celebration dinner at Shang Restaurant - Thompson LES Hotel on November 20, 2008 in New York City..Celebrities Help MANGO Celebrate The Relaunch of Its Soho Flagship - Dinner.Shang Restaurant - Thompson LES Hotel.New York, NY United States.November 20, 2008.Photo by Jamie McCarthy/WireImage.com..To license this image (56231642), contact WireImage.com

    WireImage.com

    Singer Solange Knowles performs attends the MANGO flagship store celebration dinner at Shang Restaurant - Thompson LES Hotel on November 20, 2008 in New York City..Celebrities Help MANGO Celebrate The Relaunch of Its Soho Flagship - Dinner.Shang Restaurant - Thompson LES Hotel.New York, NY United States.November 20, 2008.Photo by Jamie McCarthy/WireImage.com..To license this image (56231637), contact WireImage.com

    WireImage.com

    Singer Solange Knowles performs attends the MANGO flagship store celebration dinner at Shang Restaurant - Thompson LES Hotel on November 20, 2008 in New York City..Celebrities Help MANGO Celebrate The Relaunch of Its Soho Flagship - Dinner.Shang Restaurant - Thompson LES Hotel.New York, NY United States.November 20, 2008.Photo by Jamie McCarthy/WireImage.com..To license this image (56231627), contact WireImage.com

    WireImage.com

    Solange Knowles performs as designer Marc Jacobs dances at the MANGO flagship store celebration dinner at Shang Restaurant - Thompson LES Hotel on November 20, 2008 in New York City..Celebrities Help MANGO Celebrate The Relaunch of Its Soho Flagship - Dinner.Shang Restaurant - Thompson LES Hotel.New York, NY United States.November 20, 2008.Photo by Jamie McCarthy/WireImage.com..To license this image (56231621), contact WireImage.com

    WireImage.com

    Solange Knowles and Monica Cruz attend the MANGO flagship store celebration dinner at Shang Restaurant - Thompson LES Hotel on November 20, 2008 in New York City..Celebrities Help MANGO Celebrate The Relaunch of Its Soho Flagship - Dinner.Shang Restaurant - Thompson LES Hotel.New York, NY United States.November 20, 2008.Photo by Jamie McCarthy/WireImage.com..To license this image (56231603), contact WireImage.com

    WireImage.com

    Solange Knowles attends the MANGO flagship store celebration dinner at Shang Restaurant - Thompson LES Hotel on November 20, 2008 in New York City..Celebrities Help MANGO Celebrate The Relaunch of Its Soho Flagship - Dinner.Shang Restaurant - Thompson LES Hotel.New York, NY United States.November 20, 2008.Photo by Jamie McCarthy/WireImage.com..To license this image (56231296), contact WireImage.com

    WireImage.com

    Solange Knowles performs as designer Marc Jacobs dances at the MANGO flagship store celebration dinner at Shang Restaurant - Thompson LES Hotel on November 20, 2008 in New York City..Celebrities Help MANGO Celebrate The Relaunch of Its Soho Flagship - Dinner.Shang Restaurant - Thompson LES Hotel.New York, NY United States.November 20, 2008.Photo by Jamie McCarthy/WireImage.com..To license this image (56231127), contact WireImage.com

    WireImage.com

    Solange Knowles attends the 4th Annual PAPER Magazine Nightlife Awards at Mansion on November 16, 2008 in New York City..4th Annual PAPER Magazine Nightlife Awards.Mansion.New York, NY United States.November 16, 2008.Photo by Eugene Gologursky/WireImage.com..To license this image (56206857), contact WireImage.com

    WireImage.com


Knowles refers to her second offering as "an album's album," and notes how it is not "single driven." She hopes to continue recording music in the future, even if she says it's on a mix-tape level and for the streets. Laughing, she clarifies the mix-tape content would definitely remain consistent with her soul-influenced R&B sound, adding, "If I ever were to come on a hip-hop tip you would probably never hear me rapping because I turn so suburban white girl and I'm not afraid to say that."

She made headlines for her outspokenness during an interview with a FOX local affiliate television morning show. When she overheard a producer prompting the reporter to inquire about her rapper/mogul/brother-in-law, Jay-Z's nightclub closing down, she took the defense. But, hear her tell it, she didn't even let the television station have it like she could have.

"Listen, I did not even show my a**. I said 'please,' number one, and you would think that I was like 'b**ch don't f**ckin' talk s**t about my sister. I'd slap the s**t out of you.' I was just like, 'I think that's very unprofessional.''

She gives her parents, Music World head Mathew Knowles and House of Dereon clothing designer Tina Knowles, all the credit for encouraging her to "always just speak up when [an] issue bothered [her]."

And, one very big-named iconic singer has her back, too.

"A week or two after that happened [on FOX] I got invited to Prince's house and that was such a big moment for me because I know all cool people get to go to Prince's house. He was standing there and I was with a bunch of people and they were like, 'You're being such a p**sy right now.' 'Cause I was like, 'I'm just gonna sit here.' And he walked up and was like, 'I saw the FOX News thing' and I was thinking to myself, 'S**t even Prince is on my ass.' And he was like, 'And I loved it,' and I was like, 'F**k yeah! Prince said that he likes me, so y'all can kiss my a**.'"

So what's next for her? Knowles is humbled that she is being grouped with the new movement of daring female artists, like Janelle Monae and Santagold, who she says "individually express themselves through their videos, artwork and fashion," but she won't be recording too much longer so that she can focus on being mother to her son Daniel.

"I am blessed that I can take him everywhere with me. I was just telling my dad, 'He is about to turn four in two weeks and you got another year to work this record because come August of next year, I am on lock down like full-on -- taking him to school every morning picking him up every day that's the type of life that I want for him,'' she confided.

On December 21 at 10 pm, you can catch Solange and her sister Beyonce Knowles on a FUSE special called 'Beyonce and Solange: Hope for the Holidays,' a one-hour concert benefiting the Gulf Coast Ike Relief Fund to aid Texas victims of Hurricane Ike through the sisters' 'Survivor Foundation.'

Beyonce and Solange Fashion Transformation

    In 2001, Destiny's Child won the Grammy Award for best R&B Song for their hit single 'Say My Name.' Beyonce was 20 years old, and Solange was 15. New to superstardom, these young girls from Texas would take their time developing their sense of style.

    Kevin Mazur, WireImage.com

    Looking just like her mom Tina here, Beyonce began her career with hair extensions based on braids, way before she would "upgrade" to lace front wigs.

    Jim Spellman, WireImage.com

    Working a strange mix of accessories, Beyonce used her ensemble to promote her self-penned hit 'Bootylicious.' We do what we must to reach the top! It was 2001, and still a few more years before Bey would cement her spot without resorting to desperate moves.

    Kevin Mazur, WireImage.com

    At the 2001 Teen Choice Awards Beyonce and Solange continue to evoke the "classless country" look with matching neon yellow outfits and braids in clashing shades of auburn. At this time, Solange had almost no identity of her own and was totally dependent on her sister's shine.

    Gregg DeGuire, WireImage.com

    NO TABLOIDS! Solange & Beyonce of Destiny's Child wearing Tina Knowles 2001 MTV Video Music Awards - Audience and Backstage The Metropolitan Opera House at Lincoln Center New York City, New York USA September 6, 2001 Photo by Theo Wargo, WireImage.com To license this image (231747), contact WireImage.com

    Theo Wargo, WireImage.com

    Solange was really just a teen growing up in the fast lane, as we can see here in this early pic. Her braids, scarf, tee and jewelry are clothing an average girl would wear.

    Photo AOL

    Solange and Beyonce Knowles Solange posed together in 2002 in an uncharacteristically dressed-down look for Bey. Do you think she still has that Michael Jackson's Thriller t-shirt?

    L. Cohen, WireImage.com

    Through this two-tone hair sculpture in the form of a lace-front wig, Beyonce shows the world that they do indeed do it big in Texas at the 'Austin Powers In Goldmember' in 2002. While Beyonce began to branch out into acting roles at this time, and slightly mature in her sense of style, Solange still seems like a non-entity totally dressed by Mom.

    Gregg DeGuire, WireImage.com

    These two sisters made an appearance on MTV's 'TRL' in 2002 wearing distinctly different casual looks. While Beyonce took even her relaxed dressing to a costume-like extreme, Solange was still dressing like normal young person.

    Kevin Mazur, WireImage.com

    At the 2003 MTV Video Music Awards at Radio City Music Hall, Bey gave a knockout performance and revealed what many would come to term the "Beyonce Look" in full force. The huge blonde mane and over-the-top sexy golden outfits were here to stay.

    Frank Micelotta, Getty Images

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