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Race in America: Giving Voice with Janelle Monáe

Janelle Monáe discusses her new science fiction book, “The Memory Librarian” on Monday, Apr. 18 (Video: The Washington Post)
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“The Memory Librarian” brings together Janelle Monáe and an ensemble of writers to build on the singer-songwriter’s “Dirty Computer” album. Join Washington Post Live for a conversation with Monáe about her new book which explores themes of queerness, race, gender plurality and love.

Click here for transcript

Click here to listen to the podcast


“Dirty computers are incredible beings. So complex, so nuanced. We are artists living on our own terms, redefining what it means to create. We are coming into this world into marginalized communities and a lot of us are in the LGBTQIA+ communities…We challenge the status quo. We challenge the people that say that our very existence should be second-class…We’re not here to assimilate. We’re here to stay rooted in our authenticity and that is what this book is about.” - Janelle Monáe (Video: Washington Post Live)
“I kind of fought a lot coming into my career. Now I’m in the most ‘I have nothing to prove space.’ I’m following my gut; I’m doing the types of things that I’m moved by and that I believe in. I’m giving myself that permission. I’m not seeking permission… There are people in everyday life that may not have those options. And I just hope that when they’re reading this book and when they see me living my life, that maybe it’s some inspiration and encouragement to remind them that this is this one life…make the most of it.” - Janelle Monáe (Video: Washington Post Live)
“I think it’s awful from every angle for you to try to tell someone who they are…Trans rights are human rights, period…Unless we stand up as human beings and fight back against it, it’s going to continue to happen. We cannot get lazy with this.” (Video: Washington Post Live)
“We’re just forever connected. Prince is genius and never allowed his mystery to get in the way of his mentorship…He used his gifts to give. And he also was somebody who knew that this journey in life is much bigger than him. And I know that all of this is much bigger than me.” - Janelle Monáe (Video: Washington Post Live)

Janelle Monáe

Artist & Author, “The Memory Librarian”