Researcher ORCID Identifier
Open Access Senior Thesis
Bachelor of Science
Charles W. Kamm
© 2021 Jessica C Torrey
This paper aims to study a popular musical artist’s responsibility towards the empowerment of marginalized communities in the United States through an analysis of the songs “Freedom” by Beyoncé and “Americans” by Janelle Monáe. These songs will be analyzed in conjunction with the political climate during the time of their fabrication and release as well as the political climates discussed in the songs themselves. This paper presents a thorough analysis of the lyrical and musical components of both songs as well as an analysis of a specific performance of both songs. These analyses will be presented in conversation with many scholars and authors who have studied and written about the effects of music on various social movements. Insights into these components of “Freedom” and “Americans” will exhibit many ways in which both Beyoncé and Janelle Monáe have successfully used their platforms as talented and popular musical artists to address social and political climates that oppress marginalized communities, to take action against oppression and to empower those with marginalized identities.
Torrey, Jessica, "Protest Music in Response to the United States’ Oppressive Political Culture: An Analysis of Beyoncé's "Freedom" and Janelle Monáe's "Americans"" (2021). HMC Senior Theses. 249.
African American Studies Commons, American Politics Commons, Civic and Community Engagement Commons, Gender and Sexuality Commons, Music Performance Commons, Other Feminist, Gender, and Sexuality Studies Commons, Other Music Commons, Political History Commons, Politics and Social Change Commons, Race and Ethnicity Commons, Social History Commons, Social Justice Commons, United States History Commons, Women's History Commons, Women's Studies Commons