How many life lessons have we all learned listening to the Miseducation of Lauryn Hill? When I saw her live performance at the Rock Like a Girl concert and she ended the set with the infamous “That Thing” and repeated the infamous mantra “How you gonna win, when you not right within,” I was reminded of how much her presence meant to so many young black girls around the world. Here she was a little brown girl with so much talent and pride you could not help but fall in love with her. Her style with the Fugees was so different and refreshing till this day I feel what they brought to the hip hop game is immeasurable. I still get teary eyed whenever I watch Sister Act 2 and she sings her little heart out. We cheered for her in the movie, we wanted to her win. So much of what we saw in her talent translated into our own individual worlds. Here was a multifaceted black woman with her natural short hair giving the status quo something valuable to contend with.
I think one of the most valuable lessons I learned while Lauryn took a sabbatical and the world became privy of her personal romantic tragedies is the humanness of her experience. She is a woman just like the rest us, fallible to unhealthy romantic liaisons. Yes she had some mishaps professionally but her loyal fans understood. My only wish would have been if she was not ready, to give herself more time. But luckily, the performance I witnessed at the Kennedy Center for Beverly Bond’s non-profit organization Black Girls Rock was amazing. She seemed energetic, and ready to put on a show, a free show representing the significance of black girls, which made the totality of the experience even better.