Continuing the Conversation: #MuteRKelly
There has been a lot of media coverage about the new documentary Surviving R. Kelly this past month. Produced and directed by former music journalist and activist dream hampton, and featuring celebrities like John Legend and #MeToo founder, Tarana Burke, the documentary shares the harrowing stories of numerous of Kelly's victims. It also exposes and unpacks the serial assaults and ensuing cover-up perpetrated by the R&B singer with a decades long career. The documentary has been received as an important game changer in the #MeToo movement and a huge step forward in the #MuteRKelly campaign.
It is a difficult piece of media to watch, especially for survivors. We want to provide some of the resources and articles that have helped the Speak About It staff learn and contextualize the film, whether you choose to watch it or no.
As a consent education organization, we understand it is somewhat outside of our mission to engage with content condemning high profile celebrities. However, we feel that it is also crucial to engage with the national conversation about sex, consent and sexual violence, of which Surviving R. Kelly is a part. It is within that very conversation that we can begin to shift our culture to a culture of consent. There are lots of angles to the conversation about R. Kelly, with particular concern to race, power, and how society views and talks about black women. We think, if you are able, it’s important to engage and learn from this conversation.
We found the following articles about the documentary and related subjects helpful, interesting or challenging. These are by no means an exhaustive list, but instead a way in to this conversation about sexual assault, race, power, and accountability.
On perpetrators, power, and accountability
- -Listen: Director dream hampton on WNYC’s The Takeaway, How R. Kelly built an “ecosystem around his predation”
- -To me, a Black survivor, Lady Gaga's apology for collaborating with R. Kelly falls short - Wagatwe Wanjuki, www.wagatwe.com
- -What do we do with abusers like R. Kelly if we abolish prisons? - Harry Ziyad, blackyouthproject.com
- -Why some women still support R. Kelly - Saida Grundy, The Atlantic
On supporting black women and black survivors
- -dream hampton interview on Surviving R. Kelly, Sexual Abuse and race, The New Yorker
- -5 Organizations Helping Black Women to Support - Sara Nuta, Paper Magazine
- -R. Kelly and the cost of Black protectionism - Jemele Hill, The Atlantic
- -After Suriving R.Kelly Documentary, #MeToo Has Finally Returned to Black Girls, Salamishah Tillet and Scheherazade Tillet,NYTimes Opinion
- 'Surviving R. Kelly' revealed black women's roadblocks to exposing abuse, Danielle Kwaeteng-Clark, Broadly
- -Color of Change’s Mapping Violence Againt Black Women interactive data and storytelling tool.
- -How We Make Black Girls Grow Up Too Fast, Tressie McMillan Cottom, NYTimes
Reviews and response to the documentary
- -Is Surviving R Kelly enough to end his career?- Ann Derrick-Gailot, New York Magazine’s The Cut
- -Only Two Hours into Surviving R Kelly and the Message is Simple, Tonja Renee Stidhum, The Root
- -The #MuteRKell Campaign Appears to be Suceeding at US Radio Stations after Lifetime Doc Michael Blackmon, BuzzFeed News
- -'Surviving R. Kelly' documentary linked to increased calls to National Sexual Assault Hotline, Haley FitzPatrick, ABCNews
Learn more about the Mute R Kelly campaign.
Speak About It is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that partners with high schools and colleges to educate, entertain, and empower students to create positive change within their communities, advocate for and practice healthy relationship habits, and prevent sexual violence.
Copyright 2016 Speak About It, Inc. Website by Alexandra Valleau