After catching my nearly 100th viewing of Hidden Figures last night on TV (that's a movie I can watch from any point at any time in any mood and love it), I had a hankering to listen to some tunes today from Ms. Janelle Monáe (Mary Jackson in Hidden Figures). I've always loved her music and knew her as a musician for many years before she made her first foray into acting.
[Janelle Monáe, March 2020 (Bertrand Rindoff Petroff/Getty Images)]
In Spotify, I noticed she had re-released a new version of a 2015 track titled "Say Her Name (Hell You Talmbout)" and, being the fan I said I was above, I clicked in to listen because... Janelle!! But once I clicked in, I noticed it wasn't just her. It was this massive mother of a Black female supergroup doing a sort of "We Are the World"-esque track dedicated to the #SayHerName movement, which memorializes Black women whose lives were lost to racial injustice and systemic racism.
The song? It's nearly 20 minutes of artists saying the names of those women who have died and telling you to say them out loud as well. The differing vocal approaches and intonations make it incredibly powerful. The list of artists involved includes Janelle (it is her song, after all), Prof. Kimberlé Crenshaw (who founded the African American Policy Forum, which benefits from sales of this track), Beyoncé, Alicia Keys, Chlöe x Halle (whom I also love), Zoë Kravitz, and sooooo many more.
Give it a listen and go look up more information about the movement.