Joined by the mothers of Trayvon Martin, Mohamed Bah, Eric Garner, Dontre Hamilton, and Jordan Davis, singer Janelle Monae delivered a fiery speech before performing at Saturday’s Women’s March on Washington event.
In her speech, the “Cold War” recording artist spoke to the LGBTQ community, immigrants, and women, telling them to “continue to embrace the things that make you unique.”
“I wanna remind you that it was woman that gave you Dr. Martin Luther King Jr,” she said. “It was woman that gave you Malcolm X. And according to the Bible, it was a woman that gave you Jesus,” said Monae, the “descendant” of her grandmother, a “sharecropper” and her mother, a “janitor.”
On not letting the “bullies” get to them, Monae said, “Continue to embrace the things that make you unique, even if it makes others uncomfortable. You are enough.” In a challenge to the rhetoric coming from the right, Monáe continued, “And whenever you feel in doubt, whenever you want to give up, you must always remember to choose freedom over fear.”
In conclusion, the Hidden Figures actress left us with a few empowering words, reminding the world
and Trump that “Women will be hidden no more. We will not remain hidden figures. We have names. We are complete human beings, and they cannot police us, so get off our areolas. Get off our vaginas.”
Later on, she then led the audience into a performance of “Hell You Talmbout,” as Martin, Garner, Hamilton, Bah, and Davis led a “say his name” chant.
Meanwhile, fellow singer Alicia Keys sounded off with her own call to action saying, “Let us continue to honor all that is beautiful about being feminine.” She continued, “We are mothers. We are caregivers. We are artists. We are activists. We are entrepreneurs, doctors, leaders of industry and technology. Our potential is unlimited. We rise!”
She added, “We will not allow our bodies to be owned and controlled by men in government, or men anywhere for that matter. We will not allow our compassionate souls to get stepped on. We want the best for all Americans. No hate, no bigotry, no Muslim registry. We value education, health care and equality.”
Keys then led the crowd in an uplifting remix of her single “Girl on Fire” with the lyrics changed to reflect the masses gathered, “These girls are on fire.”
You go, girls!