“Not everything that is faced can be changed, but nothing can be changed until it is faced.”
― James Baldwin
And face it Janelle Monae did.
On Friday morning (Aug. 14), Monae stage debuted “Hell You Talmbout,” her latest single on the Wondaland Records label for a live Today Show audience. The song was penned in recognition of some of the recent victims of racially motivated violence. As is her trademark, Monae stood her ground at the end of the performance and spoke with purpose, passion, and eloquence as she addressed a global audience:
“Yes Lord! God bless America! God bless all the lost lives to police brutality. We want white America to know that we stand tall today. We want black America to know we stand tall today. We will not be silenced…”
The Today Show didn’t stand tall, though. By the time Monae uttered the words “black America”, producers had cut to commentary from one of the show’s anchors, presumably in fear of what would be said after “black America”.
Black lives do, indeed, matter.