The Women’s March brought out people from all walks of life around the world, with the speakers ranging from social workers to celebrities, and marchers of all ages. Though there’s so many speeches from various marches to choose from, if you had to watch one, let Janelle Monaé’s speech from the Washington march be the one you watch to inspire you.
Whether this Electric Lady has been on your radar for years because of her music, or thanks to the refreshingly phenomenal film Hidden Figures, you know that Janelle Monaé is a force of nature. In her career, she has been vocal about the power of representation and the power of protest, and Monae’s speech at the Women’s March in Washington was no different.
In her “Fem the Future” shirt, Janelle Monaé discussed the role of women in movements, stating that “It was woman who gave you Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., it was woman who gave you Malcolm X, and according to the Bible, it was woman who gave you Jesus.” In other words, women are the backbone of every movement, and that we contain more power than we believe.
“Continue to embrace the things that make you unique, even if it makes others uncomfortable.”
In a powerful moment, Monaé referenced her film, citing that women will no longer be hidden in the shadows, nor will the actions of those who seek to abuse power. In this moment, she invited onstage the Mothers of the Movement before leading the audience in a chant to #SayHerName — a reference to forgotten black women and girls who are victims of police brutality — starting with Sandra Bland.
As we move forward in the coming years, we’ll hold her words in our hearts, and will always remember the way her words resonated with us.
And as she said, when we want to give up, we’ll always remember how important it is to choose freedom over fear.