Background image from Joanna Kosinska - Thank you


I have been a big fan of Alicia Keys for a long time now. I have almost all of her music and have recently read her new book, Alicia Keys: A Journey (with Michelle Burford).

In her book, Alicia opens ups about her struggle to become a person true to herself – the kind of person she wants to become. One might naively think think that someone so talented and so successful would be exempt from such struggles. But, you would be wrong, as I was before reading and learning about her and her life.

You would not be alone in your naiveté. You might think that someone who has earned 15 Grammy awards, 17 NAACP awards, has sold over 40 million albums and has written such powerful songs as Superwoman and Girl on Fire , would be full of confidence and free of doubt. I too was surprised to learn from her book, that she is looking for meaning in her life, like all of us.

Alicia Keys writes and sings with a lot of feeling and a lot of soul. Some of her songs are haunting. She cares about girls and women and their struggles in a world that can be harsh and judgmental.

One of her songs from the album Here (2016) is entitled Girl Can’t Be Herself. The chorus has a haunting message and a deep sadness. It makes me well up every time I hear it.

It goes like this:

When a girl can’t be herself no more
I just wanna cry, I just wanna cry for the world
When a girl can’t be herself no more
I just wanna cry, I just wanna cry for the world

To get the full impact, listen to a Youtube video of Alicia performing this song.

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Alicia’s voice (as well as her lyrics) tell a powerful story – a story of struggle for girls and women all over the world. Here, Alicia tells it as she sees it.

Girls and women, all over the world, are diminished by powerful and unfair societal pressures – girls and women from advantaged countries and especially those from countries that offer a limited future.

Many girls and young women have very few opportunities for education and self-development, outside of obligations to their husbands and families. Fortunately, there is a growing awareness and desire to help from many worthwhile charities around the world.

Some charities, such as Plan, Save the Children and Room to Read, offer specific programs to help girls and young women get started in school and to stay in school. These programs are life-savers for many girls and young women.

In future posts, I will be highlighting such programs. They offer hope, confidence and a path to a real future. As you read about how girls and women’s lives have been transformed, your heart will warm and your tears will be joyful.

Thank you Alicia Keys for singing your heart out and helping to lead the way.

Until next time.


Image from Room to Read - Thank you

“Education is the only thing that cannot be taken away. It is the key to fulfilling my dreams.”
Girls’ Education Program Participant

Room to Read Nepal