Janelle Monáe leads Black Lives Matter protest in Philadelphia: Crowd chants 'Say Their Names' throughout concert

Protesters chanted the names of those who have died

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The Independent Culture

While some musicians are better known for hanging out with their #GirlSquad, there are still some making bold stands against the system. Janelle Monáe, for one, is a frequent provocateur, and on 12 August led a rally in support of the Black Lives Matter movement just before performing a concert.

The “Q.U.E.E.N.” singer was in Philadelphia along with fellow rapper Jidenna, but before performing they took to the streets alongside other protestors.

“They say a question lives forever, until it gets the answer it deserves,” Monáe said in an address to the crowd according to The Guardian. “Won’t you say their names? Can we say their names right now? Can we speak their names, as long as we have breath in our bodies?”

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Her line “Won’t you say their names” refers to the hashtag #SayHerName, an offshoot of #BlackLivesMatter, which was shared to raise awareness of black women being killed or sexually abused by US police. During the march protesters chanted the names of those who have died as a result of police intervention.

At the concert, Monáe played a rendition of the song "Hell You Talbot", a bonus track from her album The Electric Lady, with the crowd enthusiastically shouting “Say their names” throughout. Watch footage from the gig below.

In another Black Lives Matter march, Kendrick Lamar’s “Alright” was chanted at police after they allegedly tackled a young man to the floor.