Black Girl Survival: Thoughts on the R Kelly Docu-series

Black Girl Survival: Thoughts on the R Kelly Docu-series

Written by Saran Lawson


If you have been anywhere near a television, radio or computer within the last several days’ chances are you’ve heard about the Surviving R Kelly docu-series. There has been a lot of conversation coming from different directions surrounding the series. The responses have ranged from the parents of the girls who were abused to the former staff that helped aid or cover the abuse. Fingers have been pointed at Andrea Kelly, alleging that there is no way she didn’t know what was going on to Sparkle who took her niece into the lion’s den to meet the monster. Side note, Sparkle went on to release a song as soon as the docu-series was over. It took her very important piece of the docu-series and soiled it. She took the opportunity to out a monster and used it as a marketing ploy. There were comments being made on every platform imaginable. Some of them pointed out important pieces while others highlighted the general attitude surrounding abuse of brown girls.

Statements like, “While you are distracted by R Kelly, look what Trump is doing.”, “What’s the difference between Hugh Heffner and R. Kelly, I’ll wait” followed by a side by side picture of the two men with younger women. “I’m waiting for the docu-series on Harvey Weinstein” The most horrific comment provided by a black woman:

The dismissal of brown girl abuse stories is disgusting and outrageous and even more so when it’s from people in the POC community. It’s brushed off as, “Fast ass little girls” when in reality we are talking about children who have yet to develop the rational part of their brains, and won’t until the age of 25. Teenager’s process information with the amygdala, the emotional part. Which means that a grown man who has developed the prefrontal cortex exploited these girls. Their skin color doesn’t take away the fact that they were children. They weren’t able to make rational decisions concerning adults. Especially adults with power, money, and influence. This adult who they admired and were fans of his music. This man who presented himself to be this nice likable guy. A man who could change their lives and make their dreams come true. He indeed changed their lives and killed a very innocent, hopeful part of them. This docu-series exposed so many things that are swept underneath the rug of America and frankly the black community.

Abuse done to women of color isn’t taken seriously. I can’t point the finger solely at black men for this problem when I’ve seen so many of them reject this monster before the series came out. I can point the finger at some men and women who have made both blatant and micro stances in favor of him. They made statements that belittled the stories of these women by saying, “While everyone is talking about R Kelly, it’s taking away from the real issue. Trump…” or “Waiting for a docu-series about Harvey Weinstein” his white equivalent because ‘they always want to tear the black man down’. A man who is a stain on the black community. A man who’s abusive savagery has overshadowed his musical accomplishments.

This issue is about black women being left out of #metoo because no one takes our abuse seriously. Not even our own community.  

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