Trigger Warning: This article is a part of Rwebel Media’s “Noise” series for survivors of trauma. The following story discusses the impact of sexual violence on survivors. Reader discretion is advised.
At the South Shore Cultural Center in Chicago, IL, Candace Clark and partner Nahim sit with Javanna Plummer.
In the 40-minute interview, Javanna, Nahim, and Candace discuss R. Kelly, 'me too.,' and the impact of sexual violence on Black survivors, especially Black women. To hear Javanna's analysis of the interview, listen to Episode 5 of Rwebel Radio. Below is an excerpted transcript.
If you're already heard this episode and want to leave a comment, click here.
Javanna and Candace dialogue about Tuskegee and Donald Trump before getting to the meat of the interview.
Plummer: After watching the Lifetime documentary, I found out people were selling tapes of R. Kelly with underage girls on the West Side of Chicago.
Clark: For real?
Yeah. Why do you think nobody cared about it?
I don't think is that nobody cared. I just think it's, you know, when it's evil [expletive] happening in the world, and you see it, you gotta decide which side are you gonna be on? You know, and I think, again, it speaks to the reality of the times...not even just now have forever. You know, what I'm saying? If you can't afford to be heard, you're not going to be heard.
R Kelly, he got money, you know? I'm saying he been out here. He been doing this with these girls. That's the thing. So we was young [when it happened], you know what I'm saying, to the point where if we know, it's probably because someone else told us, but you know, I got some friends that was out there and have seen our Kelly outside school.
You know what I'm saying? We went to Carnegie around the corner. People would say that he was out there, I will hear it... the girls from Hyde Park would talk about it, and Kenwood. You know what I'm saying? Aaliyah was 15 when when [R. Kelly married her]. 13? 15?
Right, not 21? Not 18. Right. So how does the judge sign that paper? You know what I'm saying? How do her parents not know this? You know what I mean?
Even with the R Kelly thing, the only what was so interesting to me was Sparkle. Right? How Sparkle came out and was like, "That was my niece who was on there. But I didn't even know." Now, she's saying that she's been ostracized by her family...If you want to take it from a classist approach, [Sparkle's family is] in a position where if this was a couple of hundred years ago, we [women] would be getting married for cattles, we would be getting traded for spices and jerky and rum and guns.
This is how things were going. And so these families are now like literally trading their daughters to R. Kelly. And he said, I think he said that on his interview as well. Like these, they parents, what about their parents? What about the parents? And that's the real question. I don't think it was good for him to use that as a deflection for what he's doing. But that's the real question. Where are these girls parents? And if their parents are not around, why aren't they around? Is it because they work in two, three jobs?
Why does this girl feel the need to sell her pussy to get money? ~ℝ
Editor's Note: This short transcript only includes the portion of the interview included on today's episode of Rwebel Radio. The full uncut interview will be published later in the month.
Javanna Plummer, Rwebel in chief
Javanna is the editor of "Rwebel Magazine," the architect behind "Rwebel Radio," and the pioneering force of "Xscape." Through her words, Javanna hopes to inspire creativity, passion and forward-thinking.
Thanks for reading! To continue engaging with this topic, be sure to check out these great companion pieces. And don't forget to leave a comment!
Rwebel Mag publishes stories across the journalistic spectrum that give a thoughtful glance at culture and difference.