Janelle Monáe has teamed with host of black female artists, professors, and advocates on an updated 17-minute version of her song ‘Say Her Name’ released in conjunction with the African American Policy Forum (AAPF).
“This International Daughter’s Day and we are proud to stand with the African American Policy Forum’s #SayHerName Mothers Network & Kimberlé Crenshaw as we honour the Black women and girls who lost their lives at the hands of police,” Monáe shares. “We support the tireless work that #SayHerName has been doing for years to help bring these mothers justice for their daughters. This work is too important to do alone and can only be sustained through our collective voices.”
Adding: “We take up this call to action as daughters ourselves trying to create a world where stories like these are no longer commonplace. This is a rallying cry. We aim to give reverence to the countless Black women and girls who should be with us today. And to their mothers who have suffered this unbearable loss. They matter. Their names matter. Their stories matter. And justice needs to be served. May we all commit ourselves to protecting Black women and girls and making systemic changes to protect our sisters from the abuse of power in the police force. Please join us and #SayHerName.”
The single credits Monáe, Beyonce, Alicia Keys, Zoë Kravitz, Alabama Shakes frontwoman Brittany Howard, and vocal duo Chloe x Halle, along with Tierra Whack, Isis V., Asiahn, Mj Rodriguez, Jovian Zayne, Angela Rye, Nikole Hannah-Jones, Brittany Packnett Cunningham, Alicia Garza and professor Kimberlé Crenshaw.
”We are honoured that Ms. Monae and so many artists have lent their voices to reverse what we’ve called the ‘loss of the loss,’” says Crenshaw. “We’ve seen first hand the long term consequences of this unimaginable loss of life at the hands of police. This song comes at an especially challenging moment for the #SayHerName Mothers Network as we gather to mourn the loss of Cassandra Johnson, who witnessed the slaying of her daughter Tanisha Anderson by the Cleveland police during a mental health call.”
“Although her commitment to seek justice for Tanisha sustained her, her death last week makes her another casualty of the brutality that took Tanisha’s life. With this song, we honour Cassandra, Vickie McAdory, another of our sisters who was broken by the killing of India Beaty, and all of the families who have suffered the tragedy of stolen lives and the indignity and trauma that follows. This song tells them that we see them and will bear witness until justice is done.”
The track was originally released in 2015. Back then, the song was only seven minutes long, which should give you a good idea about the sheer amount of casualties that have happened since then. The names of nearly 60 black women who died at the hands of the police are mentioned throughout the updated version of the song.
Watch the entire video for the updated version down below. You can also find more information on the AAPF here.