Janelle Monáe Talks Being A Social Activist: ‘It’s Time For Us To Get Uncomfortable’

Janelle Monáe has always fought for social justice, but now she’s making it her main focus.

As Shape magazine‘s September cover star, the singer and actress, 34, opened up about starring in the timely film “Antebellum” while aiding in the fight to end racism.

“Being Black, especially during this time, for me, is heavy. It’s traumatic, and all I want to do is figure out how I can be of help to my community,” she revealed. “So I’ve been spending a lot of time organizing behind the scenes with peers, with my Wondaland Arts Society [Monae’s company] family. We hosted a Zoom where everybody had an opportunity to get on and just vent and cry and talk about how we’re feeling. These were white folks, Asian folks, Black folks, straight, gay — like a full spectrum of people and perspectives.”

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And Monáe hopes her new role in the upcoming horror “Antebellum” will bring on the “uncomfortable” conversations about racism.

“I’ve made it a thing to face discomfort,” she added. “I think discomfort is part of everyone’s reality right now. White people are feeling discomfort in one way, Black people are feeling discomfort in one way, and I didn’t want to shy away from that.”

Continuing, “It’s time for us to get uncomfortable, because the real change requires an upsetting and a rerouting and a real commitment to look at ourselves. In this instance, I hope that more white people see this film and fix the systems that their ancestors created that continue to oppress.”

Monáe’s cover of Shape hits newsstands on August 14.

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