MadameNoire Featured Video
A member of the New Black Panthers makes a Black Power fist...

Source: SOPA Images / Getty

Music is a vital part of every culture; but the role it’s played in the lives of African Americans is particularly unique as music was often used to express pain, hope, frustration and love in ways that words alone simply could not. It was a weapon in hostile environments and a inspiration for days to come. Here are just ten of the songs that speak to the black experience and elicit a deep sense of pride and self worth.

Young, Gifted, and Black Nina Simone

There are several versions of this song; but something about the passion and fervor associated with Nina’s performance makes her version my favorite. It seemed like it was absolutely imperative that her audience really get the message. This song is just a reminder that despite the comments of any naysayers, whether black or white, we’re all talented and have gifts to contribute to the world.

Comment Disclaimer: Comments that contain profane or derogatory language, video links or exceed 200 words will require approval by a moderator before appearing in the comment section. XOXO-MN