Janelle Monáe, Jidenna, and Wondaland Labelmates Lead #BlackLivesMatter Protests in New York, Philadelphia, and D.C.
Songstress Janelle Monáe has always been outspoken about black issues as both a black woman and a supporter of the Black Lives Matter movement. Over the past week, Monáe joined Jidenna and her other labelmates to lead demonstrations and marches in both Philadelphia and Washington, D.C., she also premiered a new protest song, “Hell You Talmbout.”
In North Philly on Wednesday, Monáe led a group of over 150 protestors, all speaking out against police brutality, and systemic racism. The protest was organized by local activists, and spread via social media using the hashtag #BlackJoyPhilly.
“In the wake of police brutality and numerous other things, we wanted to make sure that the world knew that black joy is still important and it’s relevant,” Melanie McCoy, one of the organizers, told NBC Philadelphia. “Just as important as black rage is, black joy is equally as important. We feel like we can use both.”
Both Janelle Monae and Jidenna spoke at the rally.
In Washington D.C. on Saturday, the Wondaland crew led a protest right before performing at a surprise concert in the city that same day. The concert had been announced and promoted via social media and during an NBC Today show performance in New York City, on Friday.
The Today show performance made headlines after Janelle Monáe, who performed three songs, including “Hell You Talmbout,” appeared to be cut off while speaking out about police brutality, following her set.
“Yes, Lord,” she said. “God bless America. God bless all who’ve lost lives to police brutality. We want white America to know that we stand tall today. We want black America to know that we stand tall today. We will not be silenced.”
Many of her followers also noticed that video of “Hell You Talmbout” wasn’t included on NBC’s website, while her performances of “Yoga” and “Tightrope” were.