I was raised in an abusive environment. So when I see Black women mistreated, silenced, and erased, it hits close to home.
One in three Black women will experience either physical or sexual assault at some point in their lives. That number has always felt much higher in terms of the women I knew, given the cultural, political, and economic violence targeted toward Black women globally.
Many of the women I’m close to have shared countless stories of abuse in their personal and professional lives. In some cases, we’ve been able to work together to take meaningful action. …
Everything should have changed for Clifford “T.I.” Harris in November 2019. That’s when the rapper went on the Ladies Like Us podcast and talked about traumatizing his daughter, Deyjah. “Not only have we had The Conversation,” he said when asked about sex education in his household, “[but] we have yearly trips to the gynecologist to check her hymen.” The tradition, he said, began the day after her 16th birthday.
After mentioning how he pressured his daughter into waiving her medical privacy during these trips (“I’m like, ‘Deyjah, they want you to sign this so we can share information. Is there…
My life has not been without hardship. My family, particularly my mother, didn’t always get it right. I was a young gay Black man growing up in the Deep South. Nuff said.
One of the many things my mother got right, though, makes me feel particularly sad for rapper Boosie’s son and nephews — and for all the people who agree with his flawed line of thinking.
Let’s talk about fatigue for a second. Not tiredness. Not even exhaustion. Fatigue is less physical than it is emotional. It’s Sisyphus back at the beginning with his ball, staring up that ramp, knowing he was this fucking close and that’s exactly as close as he’s ever gonna be. Fatigue hasn’t snuffed out his ability, but it’s damn close to bodying his resolve.
It’s also the word that best describes what we’ve been feeling recently.
Three times this week already, with who knows how many more to come, we’ve seen women come forward to share their experiences — no, call…
Dear White women,
You won’t believe this, but I’m going to say it anyway: It’s okay to take time before you speak on something. That pause — that period of respectful restraint — doesn’t sweep things under a rug. It doesn’t cast a different light on those involved. In times of mourning or celebration, it’s totally fine not to immediately bring up someone’s demons. Some issues, some people, and some pasts are nuanced.
“This emotional force keeps informing my mind, keeping me blind from the reality of what’s being done,” sings Lauryn Hill. “I keep playing the fool to help everyone.” The unreleased song, “Damnable Heresies,” is haunting and mournful — the perfect complement to play over the closing credits of the new documentary On the Record, which premiered Saturday night at the Sundance Film Festival.
The movie centers largely on former music executive Drew Dixon, one of at least 18 women— some of whom appear in the documentary — who have accused hip-hop mogul Russell Simmons of sexual misconduct and crimes, including…
“I don’t hit women, but if I did, I would hit you.”
That’s what Charles Barkley told Axios reporter Alexi McCammond in November during a political event in Atlanta. His follow-up? Telling the journalist that she “couldn’t take a joke.” The next morning, he released an apology via Turner Sports calling his comment “inappropriate and unacceptable” while still maintaining that it had been “an attempted joke.”
Last night, I watched the first two episodes of Surviving R. Kelly Part II: The Reckoning, Lifetime’s latest docuseries about the disgraced R & B icon. What I already knew: He’s a monster. What I learned: He’s a monster far beyond what we could have even believed after last year’s original Surviving R. Kelly. (Allegedly.)
But I don’t want to write about R. Kelly. Yes, he’s in the news again, but I’d rather use this opportunity to think bigger when it comes to protecting women from sexual assault.
Because someone like R. Kelly is actually rare. This is a man…
Trigger warning: This story features accounts of child sexual abuse and rape.
When I asked my writer’s group for advice on how to research child sexual abuse in the Black community, I wasn’t expecting personal anecdotes. Yet, that’s what Ron* gave us. He’d been sexually assaulted at various points throughout his life, he said — by a teacher, an aunt, and even his own mother.
In her 2004 book No Secrets, No Lies: How Black Families Can Heal from Sexual Abuse, journalist and mental health counselor Robin D. Stone writes that one out of every six men report having been…
We ordered cheeseburgers. My brother ordered a beer, and over fries and loud ’80s music, I told him I was molested. This story has always been the one I have been scared to write the most.
But I’m not just writing about that one dinner. No, this is about the after, because there are levels to my detachment, to my distance from the past. The elephants in the rooms I inhabit, and the cobwebs on the skeletons neatly tucked away and compartmentalized in closets. …
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