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Higher Learning. A publication from Medium for the interested man.

Sexual Assault

In LEVEL. More on Medium.

It’s time for Black men to step up and answer the call

Photo: Emmanuel Sasu Mensah

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. …

What’s it going to take for us to see the red flags for what they are?

T.I. and Tameka ‘Tiny’ Harris attend “LIBRA” album release party at Gold Room on October 16, 2020 in Atlanta, Georgia. Photo: Prince Williams/Wireimage/Getty Images

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…

The rapper is breaking the law — and harming his child — in the name of parenting

Photo: Johnny Nunez/Getty Images

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.

A quick catch-up on the Boosie situation, in case you had better things to do (and I’m really hoping you did): On an Instagram Live broadcast last week, he admitted to having women…

Most men don’t abuse women. The problem that we need to talk about, though, is the men who know abusers — and never confront them.

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…

An open letter to those who insist on remembering Kobe Bryant at his lowest point

Photo: Barcroft Media/Getty Images

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.

Shortly after the tragic passing of Kobe Bryant — who died in January in a devastating helicopter crash along with his 13-year-old daughter, Gianna “Gigi” Bryant, and…

After months of controversy, ‘On the Record’ delivers a haunting #MeToo story that puts Black women first — but Black men were few and far between at its Sundance premiere

Still from ‘On The Record.’ Photo: courtesy of filmmakers

“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…

Harvey Weinstein and R. Kelly are just two of many men — Black and White — who have wielded both intimidation and crocodile tears

Charles Barkley. Photo: Mitchell Leff/Getty Images

“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.”

Yet, it wasn’t the first offense for the NBA Hall of Famer. As the L.A. Times pointed out, Barkley went through a similar cycle nearly 30 years ago when he asked a sportswriter, “Did…

Yes, there are monsters out there, and you’re not a monster. But if I’m in danger from a man, that man is more likely to be you than a megarich superstar.

R. Kelly standing at a status hearing, wearing an orange prison jumpsuit
R. Kelly standing at a status hearing, wearing an orange prison jumpsuit
Photo: Antonio Perez /Getty Images

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…

We’re just coming to terms with talking about sexual abuse at all. But our sons have been missing from the conversation — and the outrage.

Photo: Rushay Booysen/EyeEm/Getty Images

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…

Thoughts of ending my life followed me long after college ended

Photo courtesy of Joshua Kissi + TONL

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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