protest music

Janelle Monáe Released a 17-Minute ‘Say Her Name (Hell You Talmbout)’

Photo: Kevin Winter/Getty Images

In 2015, Janelle Monáe released the song “Say Her Name (Hell You Talmbout),” listing names of Black women who have died by racial or police violence. Since then, the song has lived on, thanks in part to David Byrne performing it during his American Utopia Broadway show. And now, six years later, Monáe has updated it — with a star-studded cast behind her mission, but with many more names to list as well. The new version is in partnership with the African American Policy Forum, with proceeds benefiting the group (and its founder, professor Kimberlé Crenshaw, providing vocals on the song), and arrives ahead of International Daughter’s Day, which is September 26. “This work is too important to do alone and can only be sustained through our collective voices,” Monáe said in a statement. “We take up this call to action as daughters ourselves trying to create a world where stories like these are no longer commonplace. This is a rally cry.”

The women named in the song include Rekia Boyd, Latasha Nicole Walton, Atatiana Jefferson, Kendra James, Priscilla Slater, Yuvette Henderson, Renee Davis, Kyam Livingston, Cynthia Fields, Kindra Chapman, India Kager, Shelly Frey, LaJuana Phillips, Kisha Michael, Dannette Daniels, Crystal Ragland, Pamela Turner, Latandra Ellington, Crystalline Barnes, Korryn Gaines, Michelle Cusseaux, India Cummings, Sandra Bland, Symone Marshall, Yvette Smith, Margaret Mitchell, Mya Hall, Tyisha Miller, Alesia Thomas, Kayla Moore, Alberta Spruill, Breonna Taylor, Aiyana Stanley-Jones, Nizah Morris, LaTanya Haggerty, Layleen Polanco, Shereese Francis, Sheneque Proctor, April Webster, Kathryn Johnston, Michelle Shirley, India Beaty, Tanisha Anderson, Sandy Guardiola, Shukri Ali Said, Duanna Johnson, Eleanor Bumpurs, Jessica Williams, Sarah Riggins, Charleena Lyles, Sharmel Edwards, Deborah Danner, Joyce Curnell, Natasha McKenna, Darnesha Harris, Pearlie Golden, Miriam Carey, and Tarika Wilson.

Along with Monáe and Crenshaw, the song also features vocals from Beyoncé, Alicia Keys, Chlöe x Halle, Tierra Whack, Isis V., Zoë Kravitz, Brittany Howard, Asiahn, Mj Rodriguez, Jovian Zayne, Angela Rye, Nikole Hannah-Jones, Brittany Packnett Cunningham, and Alicia Garza.

Janelle Monáe Released a 17-Minute ‘Say Her Name’