Janelle Monáe On What It Means To Be Black & Spiritual

It's time to burn the sage and break out the energy crystals. On the second episode of Unbothered's Go Off, Sis podcast, host Danielle Cadet speaks with the Refinery29 roundtable — and eight-time Grammy-nominated artist Janelle Monáe — about spirituality, superstition, and discovering your own path. They also get real about their personal spiritual journeys, digging into the generational differences that affect them and where they find peace today.
"The reality is, as Black people, we were raised in the church," Cadet says. "I grew up Catholic. I am a very strict Catholic. I've done all of my sacraments. I was married in the church, but I think as I've grown up, I've developed my own sense of spirituality."
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For Cadet, any form of self-care is spiritual — especially therapy. "I started going to therapy, and I remember my whole family just looking at me like, 'What are you doing? Go to church, light a candle,'" she recalls. "I still wanted to pour into others, but I could do that even more effectively when I've poured into myself."
Chelsea Sanders, VP of Communications at Refinery29, offers a mindset of abundance when it comes to spirituality. "This generation self-identifies as anxious more than any previous [one] in our nation's history. That is a fact," she says. "Whether you find peace of mind...in a good song, a great face mask, a good psychic reading, or a good book right now, I want to recognize that all of us need and deserve the space."
Later in the episode, multi-hyphenate talent and star of Amazon's Homecoming and the upcoming Antebellum, Janelle Monáe, speaks to celebrating all of your different identities, finding your unique voice, being the CEO of your own imprint – and honoring the true inspiration behind her black and white fashion.
"I came from a very encouraging, large black family full of creatives...no one ever said you can't do what it is that you want to do," she says. "I've always wanted to stay connected to the freedom I've had since I was little. That's why I don't believe in age. I consider myself timeless. I consider myself a spirit first."
Listen to the full episode, below.
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