Solange Knowles is speaking out about race and belonging after she experienced a terrible confrontation at a Kraftwerk concert in New Orleans.
In her blog, she highlights the subtle and not-so-subtle racism black people often experience in daily life. “It’s the same one that says to your friend, ‘BOY…. go on over there and hand me my bag’ at the airport, assuming he’s a porter. It’s the same one that tells you, ‘m’am, go into that other line over there’ when you are checking in at the airport at the first class counter,” she opens on her website. “Many times the tone just simply says, ‘I do not feel you belong here’.”
Solange goes on to explain how her family, which included her 11-year-old son, was verbally assaulted at the Kraftwerk show. Women told her to sit down while she was dancing.
“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.” She says that someone then threw a lime at her. “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,” she says, but, “You know when you share this that a part of the population is going to side with the women who threw trash at you.”
She closes by recounting several incidents of racism she’s experienced over the course of her life. “After you think it all over, you know that the biggest payback you could have ever had…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.”
Read Solange’s full essay here. Was it racist?