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Strange Fruit: Janelle Monáe Says Silence Is Our Enemy, Sound Is Our Weapon

jm ideafest

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Fall is in the air, and that meansIdeaFestival -- and jokes about pumpkins and white people. Luckily, we cover both on this week's show.

One of our favorite human being/androids, Janelle Monáe, came back to Louisville this week for IdeaFestival, and brought along some folks from her Wondaland Arts Society. We caught up with them in the green room just before they hopped a plane out of town (she had to perform at Madison Square Garden a day later -- no big deal).

We talked to the artists about their recent visit to a drag ball in New York, and about "Hellyoutalmbout," the police brutality protest anthem that's been ringing out from rallies and marches all summer long.

"We wanted to use it as a vessel, and as a tool," she says of the song. "We're speaking out against the abuse of power because we believe that silence is our enemy, and sound is our weapon."

As people trying to make a difference through the power of radio, we couldn't agree more.

In Juicy Fruit this week, America lost its warm fuzzy feelings about Pope Francis when it was revealed that he met with Rowan County Clerk Kim Davis during his recent U.S. visit. Since we recorded, the Vatican has downplayed the visit and said Davis was just one of many in a greet line.

Elsewhere in Christian news, a 5-year-old girl was barred from returning to her school in southern California because she has two moms. A spokesperson for the private Christian school told KGTV in San Diego: "The Bible says homosexuality is a sin. We don't condone any sinful lifestyles."

And Azealia Banks said the LGBT community is like the "white KKK's." Banks has been criticized by gay activists recently for her use of the f-word slur. We talk about how her black and queer identity plays into her troubles with the press.

And finally, what's up with white people and pumpkins? A mic.com article looks at the political history and symbolism of the seasonal food.

Did you know pumpkins had a political history? See, you learn something new every week on Strange Fruit. Happy Fall!

Laura is LPM's Director of Podcasts & Special Projects. Email Laura at lellis@lpm.org.