1,000 signatures reached
To: FREQ Nightclub, Social City Entertainment Group, Power 105.1 FM, Sony Records
Shut Down NYC R. Kelly Concert at FREQ on January 27, 2018
January 23, 2018
Social City Entertainment Group
RSK Enterprises LLC
Power 105.1 FM
Black Women’s Blueprint
P.O. Box 24713
Brooklyn NY, 11202
Re: NYC R. Kelly Concert at FREQ on January 27, 2018
To Whom It May Concern:
Today, just days after the second annual Women’s March and in the wake of the reckoning that is sweeping our country demanding justice for victims of sexual harassment and assault because of the tremendously successful organizing efforts of our sisters at #metoo and #timesup, Black women and girls who have been victims of sexual violence still struggle to have their voices heard and Black Women’s stories of abuse still continue to be excluded from the national narrative. But we say no more!
As each day brings news of men who have abused their positions of wealth, fame, and power to engage in acts sexual violence and as the list of perpetrators grows ever longer, the name of the singer, songwriter, and producer R. Kelly is conspicuously absent from those being brought to account for their actions, but we say no more!
In the united states, Black girls are disproportionately the victims of sexual violence. Nearly two-thirds (60%) of Black girls report being experiencing unwanted sexual contact before the age of 18, and 40% of sexual trafficking victims are Black girls. As author and scholar Monique Morris so eloquently points out, “ when Black girls are victims of sexual assault, it's punishment, not protection, that often comes next.” But we say no more!
At age 50, R. Kelly has sold millions of records, and remains one of the dominant voices in R & B music. However, as chronicled by journalist Jim DeRogatis, Kelly also “has a well-documented, twenty-five-year history of allegedly victimizing women and underage girls. Between 1996 and 2002, he was subject to four publicly filed lawsuits, three by teen-age girls who alleged illegal underage relationships. All were settled, with payments made in return for nondisclosure agreements—the favored tool of Harvey Weinstein and Bill O’Reilly. Since then, Kelly has reached out-of-court settlements with “numerous” other women, according to the lawyer who represented many of them. In 2002, he was indicted for making child pornography, stemming from a video that prosecutors said showed him having sex with and urinating into the mouth of a fourteen-year-old girl. The case took six years to go to trial, and Kelly was acquitted, largely, according to jurors, because the girl and her parents never testified, though prosecutors called a dozen witnesses who confirmed the relationship.” But we say no more!
Today, we join with our sisters across the country asking to #MUTERKELLY! It's time we take a collective stand against R. Kelly and his serial sexual, emotional and physical abuse of Black women and girls! It’s time for us to send a message to the world and to survivors that we BELIEVE BLACK WOMEN AND GIRLS and that will no longer allow their stories to go unheard and their cries for justice to go unanswered. We can no longer support this abusive behavior by allowing R. Kelly and others like him to continue to prosper, continue to tour, continue to be played at our celebrations, and continue to get airtime on national radio. For these reasons, we are demanding that you cancel the January 27th show at FREQ nightclub in New York City.
It is time that we come to terms with the truth about the victimization of Black Women and Girls. It’s time for those who perpetrate and support the violence against US pay the cost, criminally, politically, economically and otherwise. IT’S TIME TO SHUT IT DOWN! If you don’t, we will!
Black Women’s Blueprint
March for Black Women
Why is this important?
Facts on Violence Against Black Women Girls
African American girls and women 12 years old and older experienced higher rates of rape and sexual assault than white, Asian, and Latina girls and women from 2005-2010. U.S. DOJ Bureau of Justice Statistics, “Female Victims of Sexual Violence, 1994-2010,” 2013
40-60% of black women report being subjected to coercive sexual contact by age 18. Black Women’s Blueprint, “The Truth Commission on Black Women and Sexual Violence,” 2012
4 in 10 black women have been subjected to intimate partner violence in their lifetimes. National Center for Injury Prevention and Control and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, “The National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey: 2010 Summary Report,” 2011.
Black girls are disproportionately at-risk for sexual trafficking. Over 40% of confirmed sex trafficking survivors in the U.S are African-American. Banks, Duren and Kyckelhahn, Tracey, “ Characteristics of Suspected Human Trafficking Incidents, 2008-2010”, The Bureau of Justice Statistics, 2011.
Black women also experience significantly higher rates of psychological abuse—including humiliation, insults, name-calling, and coercive control—than do women overall. Institute for Women’s Policy Research
“Stereotypes regarding African American women’s sexuality, including terms like ‘Black jezebel,’ ‘promiscuous,’ and ‘exotic,’ perpetuate the notion that African American women are willing participants in their own victimization. However, these myths only serve to demean, obstruct appropriate legal remedies, and minimize the seriousness of sexual violence perpetrated against African American women.” Women of Color Network, “Communities of Color: African American Women” 2014.
A study found that college students perceived a black victim of sexual assault to be less believable and more responsible for her assault than a white victim. Donovan, “To Blame or Not to Blame: Influences of Target Race and Observer Sex on Rape Blame Attribution,” 2007.
Some African American women’s decisions not to report their sexual assaults may be influenced by the criminal justice system’s history of treating European-American perpetrators and victims differently than perpetrators and victims of color. Women’s Institute for Leadership Development for Human Rights, “The Treatment of Women of Color Under U.S. Law: Violence,” 2001.
For every African-American woman who reports her rape, at least fifteen African-American women do not report theirs.