“Say Her Name”: Janelle Monáe’s song pays tribute to black women and girls killed by cops

Aresponsible for the International Day of the Girl on September 26, Janelle Monae recently released a collaborative 17-minute tribute song called “Say Her Name” honoring 61 black women and girls, ages 7 to 93, who lost their lives to police violence.

“Say Her Name” follows on from Monáe’s previous collaborative protest anthem, 2015’s “Hell You Talmbout.” Speaking with PEOPLE, the musician explained that she wanted the latest project to “raise awareness” of the victims’ stories. that the mainstream media have not covered. In addition, she wanted to “give their families the opportunity to hear people share their stories about their daughters as the human beings that they were and as the daughters that they were.”

Monáe said that after releasing “Hell You Talmbout” – which is sampled in “Say Her Name” – she “learned of the number of women – black women in particular – who had lost their lives to police violence and their stories have not been covered “.

“I just felt it was super important that we all were globally aware,” added the star.

In the song, Monáe and other big names such as Beyoncé, Alicia Keys, Chlöe x Halle, Nikole Hannah-Jones, Tierra Whack, Zoë Kravitz, Brittany Howard, Asiahn, Isis V., Mj Rodriguez, Jovian Zayne, Angela Rye , Alicia Garza and Brittany Packnett Cunningham chant all the names of black women and girls who have died fatally in police brutality.

“Each of us is a girl and we have come together on a human level, sister to sister to honor these names,” said Monáe.

“Music has always been therapy for me. what is that [song] also does capture a moment in our history and how we all came together to make known who they are, ”she added. “To be able to raise their names in this song is to take a piece of American history and take a piece of what happened so that history doesn’t repeat itself. “

All proceeds from the anthem will go to the Afro-American Policy Forum’s #SayHerName campaign, which helps families of those who have lost loved ones to police violence share their stories.

Dr Kimberlé Crenshaw, co-founder of the organization, noted that “the pronunciation of her name was the creation of this cacophony of sounds. We had to not only pronounce their names, but blow up the sound barrier by saying the names that had been erased for so long.

“[When] we speak their names, we raise awareness that so many of their families are experiencing not only the loss of the daughter, but the loss of the loss, ”Crenshaw added. “It’s as if their murder meant nothing and because it goes unreported there is additional trauma the family has to deal with.”

In the song “Say Her Name” the following black women and girls are honored: 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, P earlie Golden, M iriam Carey and Tarika Wilson.

Listen to the song in full below.

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