ARISE Magazine Dynamic 100 Women

Before serenading The Today Show audience with her new single “Dance Apocalyptic”, Janelle Monáe announced, “I am the Electric Lady, and I am your morning coffee,”. The crowd, from old to young, danced to Monáe’s song, as if they had a sip of that coffee. The performance was high energy as usual but during the interview before the performance she spoke about the “new breed” of woman she’s trying to create.  “I wanted to focus on creating a new breed,” she says, “a new 21st-century woman someone who is not defined by her skin color or hair texture but by what she does for the community, how she goes into the community and nurtures the next generation.”

Monáe’s “new breed” of woman actually isn’t that new, but quite possibly one that was overlooked for some time. All around us there are women that are community workers, activists, mothers, breadwinners and wives.  There are those who embrace and love their skin color and their hair texture and realizes that it’s not what defines them, but what makes them unique.

From the lightest to the darkest. From the relaxed to au naturale, women have been game changers, but the recognition isn’t always there. The new breed of woman is your child’s teacher, your doctor, your grandmother, your mother, your sister, your lawmaker and for a few of the readers on this site, your wife or partner.

Sure the media wants to control the type of woman it portrays or allows you to see. We’re inundated with Basketball Wives, Real Housewives and Bad Girls.  But there has always been more to women than hair pulling, cursing and wine glass throwing.  Ralph Ellison wrote in the Invisible Man, “I am invisible, understand, simply because people refuse to see me”, I think that’s sort of like this “new breed” of woman Monáe is talking about. When you tend to focus on the negative about women, that new breed that’s always been out there can become invisible.

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  • RJ

    Perhaps she should say that I would like to bring the true black woman to the foreground. As far as the community thing oftentimes we have to acknowledge our skin color to do the work in our community.

    So there are two types of the community- the one that exists outside of our door and the one that exists for us culturally.

    We really should stop internalizing white people’s nonsense when creating a plan – come from our truth and not the truth they are trying to sell.

    I say this as a GEN X black woman who has never lived in the “Black Community” but is a member of the Black community.

    • Shirl

      “I say this as a GEN X black woman who has never lived in the “Black Community” but is a member of the Black community.”
      I like this^^^^^^^^^^well said!

    • RJ

      Thank you Shirl!

  • it ain’t saying nuthin lately…….

  • I’m going to guess that she says these wierd things because she doesn’t want to be put in a stereotyped box. She doesn’t want to be seen as hypersexual or hippie/bohemian/neo soul or hood or whatever box we or others want to put us in as far as being black is concerned. The more she talks about how “different” she is, the more she sounds like every other artist trying to make it in the music game. She should just let her actions speak for itself and it will keep people interested.