Janelle Monáe’s ‘Say Her Name’ Honors Black Women Killed by Police
In SummarySinger and actress Janelle Monáe is once again using her platform to share the stories of Black people who died from police violence.
Janelle Monáe is shining a light on police brutality against Black women.
According to PEOPLE, the singer worked with the African American Policy Forum and other activists to release the new protest song “Say Her Name.” It was created as an anthem to honor women and girls killed by law enforcement.
This is not the first time Monáe has used her voice and platform to highlight police brutality. In 2015, her song “Hell You Talmbout” with Wondaland Records highlighted Black victims of police violence.
Monáe told PEOPLE the release of “Hell You Talmbout” taught her a lot about the number of Black women killed at the hands of police violence and “their stories were not covered.” Now, she’s stepping up to bring more awareness and give the women’s families a chance to hear people share their stories. “I just felt like it was super important that we all, on a global scale, become aware,” she said.
The 17-minute song says the names of 61 Black women and girls who the community has lost. “The silence that surrounds the killing of Black women is what we have just witnessed,” Dr. Kimberlé Crenshaw, co-founder of the African American Policy Forum, said. “The saying her name was the creation of the 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.”
Besides Janelle Monáe, “Say Her Name” also features vocals from Beyoncé, Alicia Keys, Chlöe x Halle, Tierra Whack, Isis V., Zoë Kravitz, Brittany Howard, Asiahn, Mj Rodriguez, Jovian Zayne, Angela Rye, Nikole Hannah-Jones, Brittany Packnett Cunningham and Alicia Garza, according to PEOPLE.
Proceeds from the song will benefit the African American Policy Forum’s #SayHerName campaign, which creates emergency resources to support the loved ones of those who died. It will also help with the development of art to help the families heal and tell their stories.
The song honors the following women: Rekia Boyd, Latasha Nicole Walton, Atatiana Jefferson, Kendra James, Priscilla Slater, Yuvette Henderson, Renee Davis, Kyam Livingston, Cynthia Fields, Kindra Chapman, India Kager, Shelly Frey, LaJuana Phillips, Kisha Michael, Dannette Daniels, Crystal Ragland, Pamela Turner, Latandra Ellington, Crystalline Barnes, Korryn Gaines, Michelle Cusseaux, India Cummings, Sandra Bland, Symone Marshall, Yvette Smith, Margaret Mitchell, Mya Hall, Tyisha Miller, Alesia Thomas, Kayla Moore, Alberta Spruill, Breonna Taylor, Aiyana Stanley-Jones, Nizah Morris, LaTanya Haggerty, Layleen Polanco, Shereese Francis, Sheneque Proctor, April Webster, Kathryn Johnston, Michelle Shirley, India Beaty, Tanisha Anderson, Sandy Guardiola, Shukri Ali Said, Duanna Johnson, Eleanor Bumpurs, Jessica Williams, Sarah Riggins, Charleena Lyles, Sharmel Edwards, Deborah Danner, Joyce Curnell, Natasha McKenna, Darnesha Harris, Pearlie Golden, Miriam Carey and Tarika Wilson.
If you or someone you know is struggling from trauma triggered by this story, resources are available here.