Solange Knowles took her family to a Kraftwek concert last Friday and experienced some harassment and unpleasantness from white women sitting behind them, so she wrote about it — first on Twitter, then in an essay/letter on Saint Heron. In the piece, (written in second person) she connects this story to so many other micro and macro-aggressions that black people in white spaces experience and explained her dilemma over sharing her story in public:
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. You know when you share this that a part of the population is going to side with the women who threw trash at you. You know that they will come up with every excuse to remove that huge part of the incident and make this about you standing up at a concert “blocking someone’s view.” You know that a lot of the media will not even mention the trash being thrown at you with your 11 year old son being present.
She notes that with her more outspoken role of late, she’s been getting racist blowback: “Now that you use your platform consistently to speak out on social, racial, and feminist issues, that people who have no awareness of your work outside of gossip sites and magazines, some of which who are most likely voting for Donald Trump, have been starting to engage and/or target you in public and social media in regards to race.”
Thanks to high-profile black figures like Knowles and Colin Kaepernick taking on entrenched racism in public, it feels like we’re finally having the beginnings of a conversation about how aspects of racism continue no matter what status you achieve.