Solange’s Concert Experience Is A Huge Eye-Opener

Photo: Dave Benett/Getty Images.
Over the weekend, Solange Knowles took to Twitter to share her awful experience at a Kraftwerk concert at the Orpheum Theater in New Orleans. The thread has gone viral for highlighting why Black people "don't feel safe in white spaces." In the series of tweets, Knowles explained that she, her husband Alan Ferguson, her 11-year-old son Julez, and his friend attended an electronica concert. She noted that they were "4 of about 20 Black concert goers" at a concert she estimated to have as many as 1,500 people. While dancing to a song, Knowles says that a group of four white women demanded that she and her son sit down. Reportedly, after Knowles refused to sit, the women threw a lime at her. On Twitter, Knowles said, "I'm just going to share my experience...So that maybe someone will understand, why many of us don't feel many white spaces..."
But what happened next is nearly as upsetting: Solange was attacked on Twitter for sharing her experience. One user said the incident occurred because, "Your culture is rude, ignorant, loud, and classless..." Another said, "What is a 'white space'? Another label/idea/myth to justify your bigotry, new segregation? Keep peddling that broken product."
Knowles responded to the "haters" immediately, tweeting, "Peeps try to give POC, a 'u can only speak out racism 3 strikes...or U r the problem' card [...] But surely after that, YOU are the problem."
Knowles also posted a screenshot of some of the horrible things people were tweeting at her, along with her responses. Perhaps the most powerful post came on Saturday: Knowles posted an image of singer Nina Simone with a formidable caption. Knowles wrote, in part, "The world. Loves Black folks to make art about being Black. Really dislikes Black folks to talk about being Black."
She added, "Black music, films, shows at an all time high. It's profitable to be Black and share your Black stories to entertain, but not profitable to talk about your Black experience."
Knowles isn't the first person to talk about the experiences people of color have when they are in predominately white spaces. Additionally, she isn't the only person of color in recent weeks to receive backlash for using their platform to talk about race in America. And sadly, the vitriolic and racist reactions to her story only highlight a truth that people of color and other oppressed communities know all too well. It's not just physical places that make people of color feel unsafe — it's the internet, too.

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