Stacey Abrams on why Janelle Monáe's 'Turntables' is the anthem for this moment
When Stacey Abrams called on Janelle Monáe to create an original song for her new documentary All in All: The Fight for Democracy, the singer said yes even though she wasn't in the most creative headspace. At the time, the coronavirus pandemic was spreading quickly, and protests against racial injustice and police brutality were opening up a national dialogue.
But Monáe came through with a passionate track, which Abrams now calls an anthem for this moment.
"I would say the music that sticks with me right now, and it's not just self-indulgent, it truly is Janelle Monae's 'Turntables,' the song that plays over the credits," Abrams said in conversation with Meredith's :Blackprint in the exclusive clip above.
"[It] is one of those anthems that when you're watching the crazy, when you're trying to figure out how do we navigate Breonna Taylor and Ahmaud Arbery and Rayshard Brooks and Jacob Blake, how do we navigate knowing how many of our friends and families still suffer from COVID-19 and from the inaction of Congress as they worry about being evicted from their apartments or losing their jobs? Her song, her anthem, tells us that we can turn the tables if we engage, if we believe, and I hold that to be a truism. And so 'Turntables,' Janelle Monae, amazing," Abrams said.
The documentary, currently available to stream via Amazon Prime Video, tackles voter suppression in the United States — a topic that's personal to Abrams, who lost a narrow race to Brian Kemp in a 2018 Georgia gubernatorial election plagued by voting problems.
"The first thing we have to do is we have to acknowledge that [voter suppression] exists," said Abrams. "And that's the point of entry. That's the reason for All In: The Fight for Democracy. It was the reason I wrote Our Time Is Now. You can't fight an enemy you don't know is out there."
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