I’m just writing this because it has been sitting on my heart. I’ve been reading over the past few days about Kenneka Jenkins and her death (Link at the Bottom). The saddest part about this story is that it is not surprising or new the details to culminated in her death. To avoid posting graphic images or talking about unknown things until more information is revealed, I want to talk about some recent thoughts on some serious topics. [Trigger Warning]
Thanks to my personal growing awareness as I become more sensitive to the world around me, I’ve become a huge fan of black women. Not just in a #BlackGirlMagic, but the general appreciation of the love, support, and advancements that Black Women have made. However, for every step forward, I’ve seen how hard it is for them.
I’ve watched over the pass few years as the #SayHerName hashtag has been co-opted by numerous groups not understanding a very harsh truth in the world. Black women and girls are consistently forgotten, ignored, profited from, and destroyed with nobody the wiser. Black women have fought on the front lines of protests, movements, advancements, and life, but still neglected. Do the lives of Black Women matter to anyone besides their own? Apparently not.
Case in point, is the continuous string of stories, evidence, and legal cases involving R. Kelly and his sexual exploits. His escapades have been linked to a few dozen different black women and children over numerous decades while still avoiding prison. Most recently, after a lengthy Buzz Feed article exposing details about a sex cult that he has been recruiting women into for years, no serious investigations or arrests have been made. There are even rumors of officers being on his personal payroll.
There is also the cases of missing black and brown girls in the D.C. area. Similar stories can be traced to other major metropolitan areas such as Chicago and L.A. where human trafficking, organ harvesting, and sex rings are where the “lucky ones” end up at. The less fortunate ones end up in body bags or never found again. Police? Never investigated.
We can continue to follow a trail of pain and hardship for Black and Brown women ignored by the rest of society. We place known domestic abusers on national platforms with the NFL, Fox News, US Government, and the Music Industry. We boost hazardous behaviors of men like Chris Brown and #45 with infantizing language of “Boys will be Boys” and he’s trying. We allow people like Jeffrey Star and Kylie Jenner to exploit the Black and Brown women create popular culture while dehumanizing Serena Williams and being outraged by Beyoncé celebrating her motherhood.
I am saying all this to say it is time to stop this trend of neglect, violence, and harm towards Black women. Men, stop expecting sexual advancement because you are nice or offer financial benefits. Stop preying on women that are under the influence. Stop putting your hands on women. No means no WHENEVER it is said. It’s not “cute” to be obsessive, rude, or disrespectful towards a woman’s autonomy. Most importantly, respect black women as humans. Pay them for their effort, thank them for their time, support them during their trials, respect them for their choices, and love them for their existence. They do all that for us, it’s about time we reciprocate.
Turn Your Brightness Up!
P.S. If you want to know what happened to Kenneka Jenkins. Here is a brief timeline of what is known here.