A Seat at the Table made its public debut on September 30, 20016, and was quickly labeled a masterpiece by some. Solange herself deemed the album a response to a conversation that she and a white business associate had in which he implied that he had ownership over Solange’s artistry and, essentially, her as a person.
“That was kind of the turning point in the transition for me writing the album that is now A Seat at the Table,” Solange explained during a candid interview with Helga Davis last year. “I began to think a lot about that conversation and replaying it, and it haunted me. And it haunted my mother to hear someone telling her daughter ‘don’t bite the hand that feeds you.’ And also the racial subtleties—[that] are not so subtle—of what that encompasses when you say that to a black woman.”
Instead of taking her cue to “shut up,” Solange decided to roar with a smash hit album that lays bare racial and gender biases in today’s society. Pick up a copy of A Seat at the Table to hear Solange’s full response to these issues. Read her interview with ELLE in its entirety in magazine’s latest issue available at newsstands nationwide.