Janelle Monáe just dropped her new protest song “Say Her Name” which aims to shed light on the problem of Black women accosted and killed by the police. The inspiring 17-minute track is a follow-up to her 2015 song “Hell You Talmbout” with her Wondaland artists Deep Cotton, George 2.0, Jidenna, Roman GianArthur and St. Beauty where she also put a spotlight on police brutality and Black people being killed by the cops.
Janelle Monáe teamed up with the African American Policy Forum and 15 other Black women and activists to reveal the new protest soundtrack and spoke with People about the importance of using her platform so these women’s names won’t be forgotten. Janelle Monáe explained that when she performed “Hell You Talmbout” that many people knew the male victims who were mentioned in the song, but not the women who suffered the same deadly fate.
“’Say Her Name’ intends to increase awareness for the [victims] and to also allow their families an opportunity to be able to hear people sharing their stories about their daughters as the human beings they were and as the daughters they were,” Janelle Monáe told People.
Proceeds from “Say Her Name” will benefit the AAPF’s #SayHerName campaign. The organization creates emergency resources to support the mothers and loved ones of those who have died. The funds will also support the development of art that helps the families tell their stories.
“The silence that surrounds the killing of Black women is what we have just witnessed. So what are we going to do to reverse it? … ‘Say Her Name’ was the creation of that cacophony of sound. We needed to not only say their names, but explode the sound barrier by saying the names that had been erased for so long. We say their names, we bring awareness to the fact that so many of their families experience not just the loss of the daughter, but the loss of the loss. It’s like their killing doesn’t mean anything and because it doesn’t get reported, there’s an additional trauma that the family has to deal with,” Dr. Kimberlé Crenshaw, cofounder of the AAPF, also told People.
“Say Her Name” features Beyoncé, Alicia Keys, Chlöe x Halle, Tierra Whack, Isis V., Zoë Kravitz, and a host of others as well chanting the names of the victims. A few women remembered on the song include Sandra Bland, Rekia Boyd, Latasha Nicole Walton, Atatiana Jefferson, Kendra James and Priscilla Slater.
“We will never forget our sisters who have lost their lives to police brutality. Join me, @AAPolicyForum + my sisters this Friday, Sept. 24 in this rally cry as we #SayHerName in honor of #InternationalDaughtersDay,” Monáe shared on Instagram.
Check out the video of “Say Her Name” below which was released to also commemorate International Daughter’s day on Sept. 26.