Singer-songwriter and actress Janelle Monáe is serious about voting and she wants you to get serious too. The outspoken activist shared her story with the nonpartisan organization When We All Vote to help get the word out that everyone needs to vote.
Monáe tells People Magazine the touching story of her grandmother who encouraged the young Monáe to use her voice. She says:
“My grandmother was a sharecropper. She served food in the county jail for 25 years. She picked cotton, shared one pair of shoes with her 14 brothers and sisters in Aberdeen, Mississippi. Then she migrated to Kansas City, Kansas. And she did not have the right to vote.”
She made me promise to her that anytime I had the opportunity to vote, that I would. So, even though all the candidates are not perfect, in honor of my grandmother, I take my butt to the polls.”
“As for the issues she holds dear to her heart:
I do care about the rights of the LGBTQI community that I’m a part of, I do care about women’s rights, I’m a woman, I do care about black folks, minority rights, I’m a black person living in America.
There are a lot of things that I care about, and so, I try to figure out ways in my shows to use my platform to support certain folks. I want to make sure that even in this political climate, that we are taking into consideration, as they’re making new laws, as folks are running for office, like who cares about those things that I care about.”
Monáe discussed some of her fears around politics in a video with 92nd Street Y.
The star recently appeared on CBS This Morning to keep the conversation going.
.@JanelleMonae's latest project is encouraging millennials to vote as a tribute to her grandmother, who didn't always have that right growing up in the segregated South. Monáe is on a mission to make sure everyone with a voice has the ability to use it. https://t.co/jTLSva3l0u— CBS This Morning (@CBSThisMorning) October 25, 2018
"When I take off my makeup, when I take off my outfit, I'm still Janelle Monáe Robinson who grew up in Kansas City, Kansas, to working class parents. So being a young, black, queer woman in America, at any moment, I could have my rights taken away from me." -- @JanelleMonae pic.twitter.com/BRTolE2IcT— CBS This Morning (@CBSThisMorning) October 25, 2018
"To show up and go city to city, country to country, and see people singing the words... it's so hard to describe that feeling... because it's been a dream to have your work resonate with people's hearts and their souls in the way that it is" -- @JanelleMonae pic.twitter.com/s5svuEiNGp— CBS This Morning (@CBSThisMorning) October 25, 2018
She is even using her platform on tour.
"Let's look after each other, and let's vote. Register to vote. And I am begging you to vote for somebody that wants to see the country work for all of us, not just some of us." - @JanelleMonae pic.twitter.com/tE7DAJPCnR— Yahoo Entertainment (@YahooEnt) October 28, 2018
Next step? Take on former First Lady Michelle Obama’s voting challenge.
My 20 year old son and I voted today! It's your turn to make your voice heard @marlaroflo @MyShanee @darkangel927 @spinqueen626 @Jenny_O_12 @jennmendiola133 @Msschoolbell @LolaB2004 @samdockery Your turn to pay it forward and tag others. #empowerment #leadbyexample #letsdothis pic.twitter.com/MCJgvPt5lB— Linda Rios-Garcia (@LRiosGarcia1) October 27, 2018
Teamwork, let’s make voting HISTORY— David E J Malley (@Isaythere) October 26, 2018
Go vote , every person— Albert Van Rut (@rut_albert) October 26, 2018
I voted today ?— Lillian Lambert (@Lillian49707189) October 27, 2018
Out to drive neighbors and friends to the polls if a ride is needed!— Sherryl (@SherrylSnyder4) October 26, 2018
Took my spouse squad, aka hubby and I, to early voting today!— Lynn (@LVelGon) October 26, 2018
Now get on out there and vote!