An Open Letter to @JanelleMonae: #TFA25 Cultural Appropriation

Please Ms. Monae, corporate America is treating black teachers and many black students “wrong” it was you who said “I’ll take you home” and along with Erykah asked, “So why ain’t the stealing of my rights made illegal”. I think we know it is because of money, “White house, Jim Crow, Dirty lies”. So I am asking you from the bottom of my heart, please forgo the money TFA is paying you to perform and back out, send the message, “Keep back kid not corporate thug…Tell me are you bold enough to reach for love?”


Dear Ms. Janelle Monae,

First and foremost thank you for bringing a black feminist perspective into music that moves my soul.  HellYouTalmBout continues to be a source of hope, righteous indignation, and monument to the lives of so many snuffed out, the song is at once too long and yet not nearly exhaustive.  Your work at Wonderland and artistic gifts are a source of pride and inspiration, which is why I was so shocked to learn you will be performing at the 25th Anniversary of Teach For America.

Your Lyrics in Many Moons:

We’re dancing free but we’re stuck here underground
And everybody trying to figure they way out
Hey Hey Hey, all we ever wanted to say
Was chased erased and then thrown away
And day to day we live in a daze

Is a beautiful metaphor for the current (and temporary) trend toward privatization…

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One comment

  • F. J. Pritchett

    I stopped reading at “back feminist”.

    This “cultural appropriation” fluff is just a make-believe issue perpetuated by entitled college students who frequent sites like Tunblr.

    Janelle Monae is the weakest link. Goodbye!


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