Janelle Monáe's "Hell You Talmbout" is as much a chant as a song, an invitation for a call-and-response that asks its listener-participant to say the names of the victims of police brutality. Yesterday, at the Women's March on Washington, Monáe performed the song, first with the help of the protesters gathered in front of her. Soon, she invited the mothers of Trayvon Martin, Eric Garner, Dontre Hamilton, Mohamed Bah and Jordan Davis to the stage to say their sons' names.
"This is a moment," Monáe said in the middle of the performance. "For history. We're going to have a moment together where we're listening and we are in tune."
In a preceding speech, Monáe spoke with power and poise about her reasons for attending the march:
"That is what I am here today to march against: the abuse of power. I want to say to the LGBTQ community, my fellow brothers and sisters, to immigrants, my fellow brothers and sisters, to women: Continue to embrace the things that make you unique, even if it makes others uncomfortable. You are enough. And whenever you feel in doubt, whenever you want to give up, you must always remember to choose freedom over fear."
It's worth watching the full performance, and Monáe's speech, below.
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