I am at my national convention for Alpha Kappa Alpha and I had the privilege of hearing Janelle Monaé speak at our undergraduate luncheon. She gave a powerful speech and also showed us footage of her upcoming movie “Hidden Figures.” The movie is about Black women working at NASA who helped us win the race to the moon.
Before she started she said “I need you guys to promise me one thing, that you won’t look at me like a celebrity. I am vulnerable just like everyone else. I do not have the answers but I have walked some of the same paths as you and have learned a few things along the way.”
Her talk was about choosing Freedom over Fear. This statement resonated with me immediately because I have kept fear from letting me do things I have always dreamed of. In high school I loved to dance, it was basically a full-time job for me. When I got to college I was intimidated by the teams and afraid of rejection and I gave up on something I’ve loved my whole life. Creating this blog was also another thing I put off because of fear. She said freedom Vs fear is the equivalent of action Vs reaction. This fear can come from the need to be perfect, Monaé told us that perfection is the enemy of greatness. She talked about her journey to become famous and the challenges along the way. This section inspired me to chase my dreams no matter what they are because life is not a rehearsal and regret is worse than rejection.
The second part of her speech was about the racial climate and social justice. She spoke about equality for women as well as Black people and the LGBTQ community. She said we need to be on the front line creating change at all costs. Change can not come if we are afraid. Our God is not a God of fear so we should not live in fear either. I admire how she uses her platform to speak about issues and help to find solutions. Janelle Monaé is truly an inspiration to our generation.
“We are the the change that we have prayed for and our daughters are waiting on.”