Solange writes essay about “white spaces” after Kraftwerk show harassment
The singer-songwriter had lime thrown at her after refusing to sit down at the gig in New Orleans.
Solange has penned an essay about “white spaces” after being harassed at a Kraftwerk show in New Orleans.
The True artist attended the show at New Orleans’ Orpheum Theater with her video director husband Alan Ferguson, 11-year-old son Daniel and his friend Rasheed on Friday night (September 9).
In a series of since-deleted tweets written during the show, Solange explained how she had been feeling hostility from the crowd and that she had been yelled at by four older white women, one of whom threw a lime at her, for refusing to sit down.
She says that her husband went over to the women to ask if they had thrown trash at her, with one woman responding: “I just want to make it clear, I was not the one who yelled those horrible, nasty, things at you.”
Solange posted an essay to her website on Sunday called ‘And Do You Belong? I Do,’ in response to the incident, which considers why many POC do not feel safe in “white spaces.”
In the essay she says “you don’t feel that most of the people in these incidents do not like black people, but simply are a product of their white supremacy and are exercising it on you without caution, care, or thought.”
“Many times the tone just simply says, “I do not feel you belong here,” she says, before describing the incident. Solange writes: “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.'”
She continues: “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. You feel that the headline would be “XYZ Goes To A Concert And Gets Trash Thrown At Them,” if it were some of your other non-black peers in the industry. You constantly see the media having a hard time contextualizing black women and men as victims every day, even when it means losing their own lives.”
Solange says that “you realize that you never called these women racists, but people will continuously put those words in your mouth,” before writing: “You have lived a part of your life in predominately white spaces since you were a kid and even had your 3rd grade teacher tell you “what a nigger is” in front of your entire white class. You watched your parents trying to explain why this was wrong to her and learned then it can be virtuously impossible to get your point across.”
The essay finishes off by explaining that Solange was still able to enjoy the gig despite the hostility. “After you think it all over, you know that the biggest payback you could ever had (after, go figure, they then decided they wanted to stand up and dance to songs they liked) 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.”