Listen: Solange celebrates writer Zora Neale Hurston in Radio 4 documentary

The singer-songwriter was featured on Seriously… discussing the pre-eminent African-American writer and reading from one of her books

Solange Knowles took part in the latest episode of BBC Radio 4 documentary series Seriously… which aired last night (18 April). The documentary explored the life and work of Zora Neale Hurston, a Harlem renaissance writer now considered one of the pre-eminent voices in 20th century African-American literature.

In a six minute segment, Solange details the influence of Hurston on her own life and work. “As a black woman and as a black womanist and feminist, I felt incredibly empowered by Zora’s work,” Solange explains.

“But I think the biggest impression that her work has had on me as a writer is just her way of communicating these themes, its poeticness and its bluntness. I think that she had such an incredible gift with that.

“I remember reading Sweat, actually, and the colour that she painted with that story, the scenes that you’re able to, kind of, visualise and the sense of empowerment once you get to the end of the book, just provokes so much strength in our storytelling as black women and our sisterhood and our roles as black women in the world. As women who really lift up and have built this country and I’m just so appreciative for that.”

Listen to it here.