Janelle Monáe recently appeared on HuffPost Live to chat about why she’s been so involved in the #BlackLivesMatter movement and the importance of artists using their platform to make these voices heard.
"When things are going on in the community, they can count on us to speak up and say something and come to them directly," she said. "We don't come to the rallies as artists, we come as human beings."
Fellow Wondaland artists Jidenna and Nate “Rockett” Wonder of band Deep Cotton were also on hand to discuss their views on the nation’s racial issues.
"I was in the classroom when certain names like Kimani Gray [and] Michael Brown came up, and I remember looking at the eyes of devastation,” said Jidenna, who used to be a teacher and organizer. “The kids were just hanging their heads down in despair, feeling like their entire nation was out against them. And as artists, we believe that our duty is to give those people that much more power, that much more spirit to really get through the day and face those tough questions that are coming at them from the next generation."
Jidenna added that it’s not even the artists who are leading the crusade, but rather the strength of the families who’ve been affected first hand by these senseless acts of violence.
"We've been teaming up with local organizers in every city, so we don't feel like we're leading these marches, rallies or protests," he said. "It's the families, first of all, who are leading all of us with the strength that they have. And then secondarily, it's the organizers on the ground who are there every day on the front lines."
To watch the entire interview, click here.
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