In an effort to better the world, A&E is airing a concert special about race in America, featuring several of your favorite musicians and Ed Sheeran. As part of this honest conversation about race, Nicki Minaj read a Maya Angelou poem during the concert’s taping on Wednesday night.

In the clip above, Minaj beautifully recites “Still I Rise” with emphasis on this part: “Does my sexiness upset you?/ Does it come as a surprise?/ That I dance like I’ve got diamonds/ At the meeting of my thighs?” It makes me miss Def Poetry Jam.

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Other performers taking the stage for this special (airing November 20) include Alicia Keys, Miguel, Pharrell, Pink, Sia and John Legend, who’s the only celebrity I trust here to talk about race. The point is to raise money for United Way Worldwide and bring awareness to the black experience in America, police brutality, Black Lives Matter, etc.

But let’s all pause and note that this concert features the aforementioned Ed Sheeran, who previously undercut Nicki Minaj’s point about black women being overlooked in pop music while defending his friend Taylor Swift during their feud. The show also features Pharrell, who once told Oprah, “The New Black doesn’t blame other races for our issues. The New Black dreams and realizes that it’s not pigmentation: it’s a mentality and it’s either going to work for you or it’s going to work against you.”

This will for sure be enlightening.


Contact the author at clover@jezebel.com.