Personal Story

Beyoncé’s ‘Cowboy Carter’ Album Is Revolutionary for Me and My Daughter—Here’s Why


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beyonce's cowboy carter"
beyonce's cowboy carter
Graphics by: Aryana Johnson
Graphics by: Aryana Johnson

It surprises many people to hear that I’m a big country music fan. And I’m not a fan because I grew up in Texas or had a favorite country artist growing up—it’s genuinely because the roots of country music make me feel connected to my ancestry. As a Black woman, country music has always felt like home, even if some people might find that confusing. So when Beyoncé announced her country album, Cowboy Carter, I couldn’t help but get excited about the jam sessions I knew my daughter and I would have.

My little 3-year-old, curly-haired, melanated, very self-aware Black daughter is a country music fiend (mixed with a little bit of the Bluey soundtrack and ’90s hip-hop). She consistently requests that I play Life Is a Highway by Rascal Flatts until our Alexa speaker breaks. However, if you look at the Apple Music playlist for top country songs or artists, she will rarely see anyone who looks like her. And although I’d love to say, “When you grow up, you could be the greatest country singer on earth,” the representation in country music currently does not support that dream.

However, Beyoncé’s country album, Cowboy Carter, her Act II following the popular and award-winning Renaissance, is an exciting turn for country music. There are so many incredible Black artists who have paved the way and are continuing to make waves in the country music scene, and I truly believe that this is just the beginning. For some, the release of an album may not represent some pivotal point in their parenting journey, but it’s different for me. As an antiracist mom, one of my greatest joys is showing my daughter she deserves to be in any space regardless of what society says it’s “supposed to” look like.

Here’s why Cowboy Carter will be revolutionary for me and my daughter:

Learning Lesser-Known History in a Fun Way

Black people’s influence on country music has been present since the genre’s origins. From the banjo to the blues and gospel melodies mimicked in country music, Black folks have always had a hand in the scene. Still, it is challenging to find acknowledgment in today’s country music. So when Beyoncé let the world know that her album was inspired by her experiences with country music environments and acknowledged the many unrecognized Black singers who came before her, it made me excited to do some more digging of my own. 

I love the ability to teach my daughter some of our cultural history. And it’s much easier to teach something to a 3-year-old when there’s a twangy song or a book associated with it. So often, Black folks and our history are associated with pain and suffering, and while it is important for her to know, right now, I find the best way to affirm her identity is by teaching her about Black joy. That joy can come from the music of older country artists like Charley Pride, DeFord Taylor, and Ray Charles (Yes, Ray Charles had a country album) to newer artists like Mickey Guyton, Tanner Adell, and now Beyoncé.

Showing Her She Deserves to Take Up Space Any and Everywhere

I’m determined to instill a belief in my children that I didn’t have growing up: that as Black girls, as Black women, we deserve to take up space anywhere and everywhere. There were many spaces where I didn’t feel welcome, spanning from my predominantly white Talented and Gifted class in elementary school to the boardroom of my first jobs. At times, I allowed myself to believe I didn’t belong in those spaces. But now, I understand that just because someone else doesn’t think I should be seen or heard doesn’t mean I shouldn’t fully assert myself. Now, I have the opportunity to teach my kids from an even earlier age that they deserve to be in the room and deserve rooms created for them!

I realize it might seem like a hefty lesson to draw from a Beyoncé album, but consider this: Beyoncé, despite being the last person expected to do a country album, still deserves a place in the genre, on country radio, and at the next CMA Awards. When the world tells Black women they don’t belong, I can point to countless examples to encourage my daughter to show up anyway. So, I hope Beyoncé puts on a glitter cowboy hat and struts down every country music award red carpet because she’ll be showing my daughter and millions of other little Black girls that they can do anything and that the products and art we create deserve to be in every space.

beyonce's country album mother and daughter dance party
Source: Shutterstock

Embracing Freedom And Authenticity—Even Through Dance Parties

All serious and meaningful life lessons aside, this album is simply revolutionary because it lets me have country dance parties with my country-loving daughter alongside someone she can see herself in. So now, when we throw on a cowboy hat or cowboy boots, jump like the floor doesn’t exist, and laugh because joy and letting her be her most authentic self is so important when raising little girls, but especially little Black girls, she will also see someone who looks like her doing the same.

Most importantly, dance parties, jam sessions, and silly karaoke nights serve as more than just fun memories; they become powerful affirmations of her identity. As she sees me embracing the freedom that comes with letting my curls down and singing at the top of my lungs, I see my daughter blossoming into a confident young girl, unapologetically embracing her love for music and culture. As a mom, I see her not just dancing but claiming her space, her heritage, and her right to be seen and celebrated. With a little bit of Beyoncé and all of the Black country legends that came before, I get to show her that Black girls can shine in any genre, on any stage, and in any place.