In spite of and perhaps because of her greatness, Lauryn Hill left many of her fans conflicted. Released on August 25, 1998, her solo debut, The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill, gave depth and cathartic dimension to the subject of black women in love. She sang about pulling away from an ex and finding salvation in motherhood, rapped about self-improvement, and presented these stories as tense reflections of her own entangled life, without fully disclosing her truth. “The album at its core was always about love, both the deciphering of it and the search for it,” Joan Morgan writes in her new book. Twenty years after the album’s release, Morgan (author of the critical feminist work When Chickenheads Come Home to Roost) looks back on Hill’s impact and flaws in She Begat This: 20 Years of The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill. The book, out August 7, also drops in commentary from black women writers, editors, and activists who followed Hill’s career, including dream hampton, Karen Good Marable, Michaela Angela Davis, and Tarana Burke. Last week, I spoke with Morgan over the phone about her book, the myth and beauty of Lauryn Hill, expectations, and the burden of legacy. Our lightly edited and… Read full this story
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