Josefina Santos
May 23, 2022 6:25 AM EDT

From her first single “Need U Bad,” Jazmine Sullivan demonstrated an innate ability to write songs that perfectly capture the stories of so many Black women. Sullivan has a lyrical vulnerability that makes you think she has been reading your journal. She is so deserving of her most recent Grammy win, along with acclaim and other accolades that have been an honor to witness. But the most exciting part of her recent career journey has been that Sullivan has allowed us to share in her journey to self-love, removing herself from the shadows of fear as we can clearly see in her 2021 album Heaux Tales. In her speech during last year’s 2021 Soul Train Music Awards, she shared that she had made a vow to be present and not to hide away. It is this type of candor that makes Sullivan such an inspiration and icon to so many Black women including myself. It has truly been my pleasure to call her a friend over the years and I want to thank her for being an example of what happens when you believe in your gift and trust God’s calling for your life.

Riley is an actor, singer, and writer

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