Solange pens beautiful essay on being harassed in white spaces
September 12, 2016 at 3:23 am
Solange Knowles is an unapologetic, carefree black girl.
She really moves to the beat of her own drum.
Solange isn't shy about her eclectic nature, open-mindedness, and appreciation of other cultures. And of course, she's a firm proponent of racial equality. Despite her celebrity, Solange is often exposed to the stiff realities about racism in America. With that, she openly discussed the uncomfortable position of being unwelcomed in white spaces
It all started Saturday with these two tweets.
But in this moment, I'm just going to share my experience..— solange knowles (@solangeknowles) September 10, 2016
So that maybe someone will understand, why many of us don't feel safe...
...in many white spaces..The singer then went on to write about her negative experience after attending a Kraftwerk concert Friday night in New Orleans. The Saint Heron post is titled, "And Do You Belong? I Do". She was at the show with her husband, son and a young friend of his. When she stood to dance, that's when Solange began to take notice of her surroundings
We don't "bring the drama"...
— solange knowles (@solangeknowles) September 10, 2016
"About 20 seconds later, you hear women yell aggressively, “Sit down now, you need to sit down right now” from the box behind you. You want to be considerate, however, they were not at all considerate with their tone, their choice of words, or the fact that you just walked in and seem to be enjoying yourself. You are also confused as to what show you went to. This is a band that were pioneers of electronic and dance music. Surely the audience is going to expect you to dance at some point."
What happened next is what caught her completely by surprise."You were planning on sitting down after this song, as long as it wasn’t one of the four songs that you really connect with and plan on getting down to. You feel something heavy hit you on the back of your shoulder, but consider that you are imagining things because well….certainly a stranger would not have the audacity Moments later, you feel something again, this time smaller, less heavy, and your son and his friend tell you those ladies just hit you with a lime. You look down only to see the half eaten lime on the ground below you."
Someone actually threw a lime at her for dancing."You’re full of passion and shock, so you share this story on Twitter, hands shaking, because you actually want these women to face accountability in some kind of way. You know that you cannot speak to them with out it escalating because they have no respect for you or your son, and this will only end badly for you and feel it’s not worth getting the police involved. So, you are hoping they will hear you this way."
Solange went on to write about her desire to share the experience on social media, yet knew that media outlets would have a field day with the story completely losing sight of her intent and motivation. She made a note, not to call the women racist but instead brought forth the repeated mistreatment people of color experience on a day-to-day basis
She ended the note in a positively reflective manner."After you think it all over, you know that the biggest payback you could have ever had (after, go figure, they then decided they wanted to stand up and dance to songs they liked) was dancing right in front of them with my hair swinging from left to right, my beautiful black son and husband, and our dear friend Rasheed jamming the hell out with the rhythm our ancestors blessed upon us saying…. We belong. We belong. We belong." We built this
And from there, women from all over marveled at Solange's courageous words.
.@solangeknowles' piece is a good reminder for anyone who thinks famous & affluent black people are immune to racism.— Simoa (@girlhuntballet) September 11, 2016
Being in all white spaces isn't easy. At work, I'm the only black woman there. I've dealt with isolation, microaggressions, the works..
— Courtney (@CourtneyCymone) September 11, 2016
@solangeknowles thank you for documenting the kind of micro and macro aggressions that we must confront all the time in white spaces.— Lisa B. Thompson (@playprof) September 11, 2016
@solangeknowles piece resonates with women of color everywhere especially South Africa. Really felt her power even. Thank you
— It's DeeYouAnnGeeAyy (@BlaqueDunga) September 11, 2016
Actress Gabrielle Union shared Solange's experience which is all too common, especially for black women.
Means so much to have your support. Love to you lady.... https://t.co/FmvZJIszKI— solange knowles (@solangeknowles) September 11, 2016