Those enduring and fighting against structural racism and discrimination need to prioritize self-care more than ever before. Singer, songwriter, poet and youth educator Jamila Woods stressed that need when we spoke to her last week. 

“As young people think a lot more about what’s right and wrong, their actions have to go hand-in-hand with taking care of themselves,” she said. “You can’t fight the power every day without building yourself back up.”

We interviewed Woods ahead of yesterday’s (July 11) release of her debut album, “Heavn.” For those who need some healing today, it is available for free streaming via her Soundcloud page.

“Heavn” tackles systemic racism with songs like “Blk Grl Soldier” that speak directly to Black girls and women. The Chance the Rapper and Macklemore collaborator (who appeared in our video interview with the “White Privilege II” songwriting team) also addressed the importance of her intended audience in our Q&A:

…I usually think about Black people when I write anything. That doesn’t mean that White or other non-Black people can’t enjoy or get something from what I do, but it’s written for Black people. That specificity allows people to grow and learn from something so much more intensely. Having that awareness of audience is really important for an artist. 

Check out “Heavn” below.

(H/t Okayplayer)