Illustrations by Mia Coleman.

Illustrations by Mia Coleman.

The tracks on this playlist contain themes that are prevalent in the black experience—especially for girls on the brink of young womanhood. They are about overcoming stereotypes, being comfortable with your identity, being in command of your sexuality, and remaining tenaciously confident in your abilities in a white, male-dominated society. For me personally, this mix can be a place of refuge from the pervasive racist messages that bombard me in my daily life; where I can ensconce myself in a world of fantasy, imagination, and joy. So when adversity comes knocking, I don’t run from it. I have the self-assurance to smile boldly in its face. I hope this playlist serves as a catalyst to help other black girls do the same.

Kennedy Freeman is an 18-year-old public relations and political science student living in Philadelphia. She enjoys playing instruments, reading James Baldwin essays, and lurking through the bowels of Spotify. You can find her on Twitter @_kennnnedy.