"The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill" turns 20: How the hip-hop artist paved the way for millennial women


"The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill," Lauryn Hill's 1998 solo debut, is often lauded as one of the greatest albums of all time. Award-winning author, hip-hop journalist and scholar, Joan Morgan, argues on “Salon Talks” that the impact of that album and Hill's legacy goes far beyond the music.

In her new book, "She Begat This: 20 Years of the Miseducation of Lauryn Hill," Morgan explains how Hill was both a musical and visual intervention to hip-hop and pop culture. "Lauryn showed up on the scene and rose to a Beyoncé level of fame, insisting that she look exactly like she looked," Morgan told SalonTV’s Rachel Leah. "She really kicked the door wide open for what we routinely, visually call Black Girl Magic now, before we had the term and before we had the hashtag."

Morgan also pointed out the public's resistance to Hill's young pregnancy and questions the music industry’s and fans lack of empathy for Hill. After all, Hill's legacy is muddled for some. She has a slim body of work, has earned a reputation for being hard to work with (with the lawsuits to prove it), and is notorious for being hours late to her shows.

But Morgan says we should recognize Hill's humanity, and most importantly, that "a 23 year-old woman came out, was resolutely herself, unapologetically herself and gave us a space to enter and to grow in. And sometimes that's enough."

In "She Begat This," Morgan enlists other cultural trailblazers, like #MeToo founder Tarana Burke, magazine legend Kierna Mayo, cultural critic dream hampton, image activist Michaela Angela Davis, among other artists, DJs and scholars, to tell an oral history of Hill and the way she transformed the culture.

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