Solange Pens Essay About Race After Being Harassed At A Concert

In a series of since-deleted tweets last week, Solange Knowles wrote about an incident involving her, her family and a few angry white women at a concert for the group Kraftwerk at the Orpheum Theatre in New Orleans, in which a lime was thrown in Sol-Angel’s direction after she was (god forbid) standing up during the performance.

“I’m just going to share my experience … So that maybe someone will understand, why many of us don’t feel safe in many white spaces,” one of the tweets read. “We don’t ‘bring the drama.’ Fix yourself.”

However, last night, Solange offered a more detailed account of the event, including what tone means to a situation, in an essay entitled “And Do You Belong? I Do” posted on her Saint Heron website.

The tone. 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,” she started with. “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 before you even open up your mouth…”

Later on in the piece, she describes taking her 11-year-old son and his friend to Kraftwerk’s concert in NOLA, and the way they were treated, presumably by the color of their skin. They were yelled at when it was perceived they were smoking electronic cigarettes at the venue (when it was the people in front of them), and then Solange was yelled at by a white woman for standing up and dancing during the show.

“You are also confused as to what show you went to. This is a band that were pioneers of electronic and dance music. Surely the audience is going to expect you to dance at some point,” she continued. “You were planning on sitting down after this song, as long as it wasn’t one of the four songs that you really connect with and plan on getting down to.”

“You feel something heavy hit you on the back of your shoulder, but consider that you are imagining things because well….certainly a stranger would not have the audacity. Moments later, you feel something again, this time smaller, less heavy, and your son and his friend tell you those ladies just hit you with a lime.”

She then goes on to write that she believes people of color are uncomfortable in white spaces, or places with a large amount of white people, because white people seem to make it obvious that they don’t appreciate people of color in places they feel they don’t belong. Due to this notion, Solange notes that she doesn’t dislike white people, she just dislikes “the way that many white people are constantly making you feel.”

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[J’na Jefferson]

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