In honor of the Black lives lost to police killings and violence, Janelle Monae and her WondalandRecords family released a new song titled “Hell You Talmbout.”
The sounds of marching band drums create a strong instrumental for the voices of each musician proclaiming countless names of victims. Janelle Monae, Jidenna, Roman GianArthur, Deep Cotton, St. Beauty, and George 2.0 take turns for six minutes and 41 seconds, taking us through a long history of loss.
They echo “Say her name” and “Say his name” through mentions of Emmett Till and other Black men, women, and children killed, such as Sean Bell, Aiyana Jones, Kimani Gray, Walter Scott, Eric Garner, Sandra Bland, Freddie Gray, and Michael Brown. Their voices are loud and intense emotion rings through each exclamation.
Janelle Monae explained the song on her Instagram:
“This song is a vessel. It carries the unbearable anguish of millions. We recorded it to channel the pain, fear, and trauma caused by the ongoing slaughter of our brothers and sisters. We recorded it to challenge the indifference, disregard, and negligence of all who remain quiet about this issue. Silence is our enemy. Sound is our weapon. They say a question lives forever until it gets the answer it deserves… Won’t you say their names?”
It’s an act of remembrance and the commitment to keeping the movement alive.
Monae’s album The Epehus will be released on Friday. You can listen to the song below:
1. 2014: Michael Brown's lifeless body was left in the streets of Ferguson for more than four hours after he was killed by Officer Darren Wilson on August 9.
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2. 2015: Tyrone Harris, 18, was shot in Ferguson Sunday night by police for allegedly attacking them with a firearm. He remains in critical condition and is facing four charges of first-degree assault on law enforcement, five counts of armed criminal action, and one count of discharging a firearm at a motor vehicle.
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3. 2014: Unrest in Ferguson plagued the city after police officers clashed with protesters.
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4. 2015: Police stand to maintain the crowd after shots rang out on the anniversary of Mike Brown's death.
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5. 2014: An unarmed protester was approached by police during protests in Ferguson. The image became one of the most memorable of the city's uprising.
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6. 2015: A woman stands before police with her hands up in the air.
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7. 2014: After the shooting of Mike Brown and the death of Eric Garner, unrest continued to rise in Ferguson. After it was determined that Darren Wilson would not be indicted in the fatal shooting of the teen, protesters took to the streets.
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8. 2015: Since the death of Brown, over 100 men, women, and children of color have been killed by police. Worldwide protests have continued advocating for better training for police officers.
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9. 2014: A woman hit with pepper spray is doused with milk. Ferguson police issued curfews for protesters after incidents of arson and looting occurred during peaceful protests in the city.
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10. 2015: A year later, protesters say they too were hit with tear gas while protesting in the streets.
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11. 2014: The National Guard was called into Ferguson to "control" protests.
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12. 2015: A teen is caught in the crossfire during a shooting that took place in Ferguson on the anniversary of Mike Brown's death.
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13. 2014: Army tanks filled the streets of Ferguson after protests turned violent in the city.
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14. 2015: St. Louis police with army gear arrive in Ferguson Sunday night.
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Continue reading Photographic Proof Not Much Has Changed In Ferguson Since Michael Brown’s Death
Photographic Proof Not Much Has Changed In Ferguson Since Michael Brown's Death