Solange Knowles won the first Grammy award of her career Sunday when she took home the statuette for best R&B performance for "Cranes in the Sky." But she was not given the trophy during the show's TV broadcast, so the 30-year-old performer made a brief acceptance statement on social media instead.
"Thank you for your well wishes," she tweeted. "Gratitude. If I would've gotten to accept this, I would've said black girls/women ARE Grammys mothafuckaaaa."
The simple statement takes on greater meaning in the context of what happened to Knowles' sister that night. Beyoncé was nominated for nine Grammys for her visual album Lemonade, but won just two — for best urban contemporary album and best music video for "Formation."
Most notably, Beyoncé was passed over for song of the year, record of the year and album of the year in favor of Adele, in what some fans and critics considered a snub. (Adele herself praised Beyoncé effusively in her album of the year acceptance speech.)
Solange, in her statement, tacitly acknowledged the Grammys' well-documented history of failing to recognize black talent. But she also recognized that awards like the Grammys — at the end of the day — are far less important than the inherent value of the black girls and women they often pass over.
When she says that these black girls and women are Grammys, Solange is making it clear that real value comes from within. It's a simple statement, and may even border on cliché. But its relevance is undeniable. And it can't be said enough.