Solange Shares Personal Essay About Experiencing Hostility In “Predominantly White Spaces”

After being harassed at a Kraftwerk show, Solange expresses why “black people are uncomfortable being in predominately white spaces.”

September 11, 2016
Solange Shares Personal Essay About Experiencing Hostility In “Predominantly White Spaces” Mike Coppola / Getty Images

Earlier tonight, Solange shared a personal essay on her Saint Heron blog about the daily hostility she faces as a black woman occupying predominantly white spaces. In "And You Belong? I Do," Solange recounts instances in which she has been cast away from physical spaces because of her race. "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," Solange writes.

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Her essay primarily stems from an experience in which Solange, her husband, her 11-year-old son, and his friend attended a Kraftwerk concert last night. Solange, initially excited to teach her son about the origins of hip-hop, were met nasty words and attitudes from 4 older white women from the box behind them. After they yelled at Solange to sit down, one of them allegedly threw a lime at her back. Solange then describes her shock from the incident.

You inhale deeply. Your husband calmly asks the group of women did they just throw trash at you. One woman says, “I just want to make it clear, I was not the one who yelled those horrible, nasty, things at you.”

Loud enough for you to hear.

This leads you to believe they were saying things way worse than what you heard, but you are not surprised at that part one bit.

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.

Finally, Solange concludes the essay in a positive light, as she recounts how her and her family danced in spite of the harassment. She writes:

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.

While Solange's tweets outlining the Kraftwerk concert incident are now deleted, Solange did go to Twitter to share her essay and her message. Speaking on behalf of minorities, Solange writes, "...in many white spaces... We don't 'bring the drama'.... Fix yourself." She also shared examples of backlash and support she had already received from writing the piece. View below.

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Solange Shares Personal Essay About Experiencing Hostility In “Predominantly White Spaces”