Janelle Monáe, Like The Rest Of Black America, Has Had Enough

The “Antebellum” star is hoping her art can help people understand the urgency of the present.

9/18/2020 1:30:00 PM

The “Antebellum” star is hoping her art can help people understand the urgency of the present.

The “Antebellum” star is hoping her art can help people understand the urgency of the present.

Taryn FinleyThere’s a fire burning in Janelle Monáe. It’s quiet but it’s impossible not to feel, even through the screen.Not even a week had passed since the death of Chadwick Boseman, a friend and inspiration to the artist, when she sat down for a Zoom interview with HuffPost. Though focused, she brought a heaviness with her. One that was especially evident after six long months of a global pandemic, Black lives stolen by police violence, a nationwide uprising and more fallen Black heroes than anyone was equipped to handle.

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“A simple ‘how are you doing’ for me is hard to answer honestly,” Monáe said after letting out a half chuckle, half sigh. She knows survival mode is a constant state of being for Black people in America, but 2020 has been especially difficult.Still, Monáe is fired up.

“I think that what I’ve been trying to do is be a better human to the people that I feel like I can be of service to and of assistance to,” she said. Amid the pandemic, Monáe has helped to fight food insecurity and joblessness with her#WondaLunch

drives, designed to support the communities most impacted by COVID-19. She’s also been vocal on social media and in press appearancesabout Black Lives Matter, defunding the police and the importance of voting in the upcoming election. “That’s where I’m putting my focus in, and putting my focus into art.”

The 34-year-old stars asin “Antebellum,”her first lead role. The film, written and directed by “Get Out” and “Us” producers Gerard Bush and Christopher Renz, is a dystopian thriller that follows Veronica as she works to escape a plantation where Black people are enslaved by white folks who are motivated by a violent thrill.

Matt KennedyJanelle Monáe as Veronica Henley in"Antebellum."The script was based on a nightmare Bush had in which he felt like his ancestors were sitting on his bed watching him. The film is far from an easy watch. In addition to the fatigue around movies based on enslavement, it’s drenched in brutally violent scenes in a year when there’s no shortage of real-life footage of Black people being murdered (something the film has been

heavily criticizedfor). Monáe admitted that she wasn’t sure about taking on a role in such a traumatic film. But she felt called to seize the challenge.“I don’t choose my roles. My roles choose me,” she told HuffPost. Since her acting debut in 2016’s “Moonlight,” Monáe has had parts in “Hidden Figures,” “Harriet,” “The Glorias” and “Homecoming.” She said after reading the script for “Antebellum,” she felt its message was important.

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It “connected the past, the present and what the future could be, and can be,” she said. “Speaking about today, speaking about police brutality, speaking about all of the Black lives who have been stolen from us at the hands of the police, speaking about white supremacy, speaking about systemic racism ― you can’t talk about those things without going into the past, without talking about chattel slavery, without talking about how we even got here in the first place.”

Veronica is an esteemed author and activist who has a loving family and considerable wealth. She’s an educated and outspoken leader who experiences microaggressions — and flat-out racism — that feel as threatening in the film as they do in real life. Monáe said she looked to activists and leaders such as Maxine Waters, Brittany Packnett, Bree Newsome, Angela Rye and the Black Lives Matter founders as inspiration when bringing her character to life.

“Black women like Veronica and Black women that we know that carry the burden of dismantling systemic oppression, systemic racism and white supremacy,” she said. “I feel like not a lot of people understand that it’s not our job to do this, yet we do it. And I wanted to humanize Veronica because so often we’re told Black women are superheroes or Black women are going to save the world. I think that we owe Black women a lot.”

Read more: HuffPost »

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The sleeping giant has had enough too. A privileged Canadian girl has had enough. Gimme a break. Canada has ZERO history of oppressing blacks. Natives.... Different story. nebolove ! Shes had Enough of this country making her rich and famous lol. Meh it’s almost over. At least until 2024. Had enough of what?

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