*Janelle Monae linked up with the African American Policy Forum to create a star-studded anthem calling attention to 61 Black women and girls who were killed by law enforcement. (Watch the video’s trailer above, and the full lyric music video below.)
The 35-year-old singer and actress is behind the 17-minute “Say Her Name” — a follow up to her 2015 song “Hell You Talmbout.” The song aims to “bring more awareness to what has not been covered 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,” the artist explained, per People.com.
The “Hidden Figures” star says that after releasing “Hell You Talmbout,” she had an eye-opening experience and “learned about the amount of women — Black women in particular — who had lost their lives to police violence and their stories were not covered,” Monáe says. “I just felt like it was super important that we all, on a global scale, became aware.”
Dr. Kimberlé Crenshaw, cofounder of the African American Policy Forum, says the community has “fallen out of awareness around this tragedy that’s happened to too many Black women” and the growing activism is “the kind of shift that’s necessary” in our society to “reverse injustices.”
Along with Monáe and Crenshaw, “Say Her Name” also features 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.
However, Monáe ensures that the focus is not on the celebrities she collaborated with but the AAFP and the historical impact they can make.
“Each of us is a daughter and we came together on a human to human level, sister to sister level to honor these names,” she says.
“Say Her Name” is released ahead of International Daughters Day on Sept. 26 and honors the following Black women and girls: 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.
Watch all 17 minutes of the song’s lyric video below: