The woman who started the #MeToo movement almost a decade before it gained momentum in Hollywood is now writing a memoir she hopes will continue to aid sexual abuse survivors.
The Washington Post reports that Tarana Burke will co-author “Where The Light Enters” with award-winning author and journalist asha bendele. The book is set to be published by published by 37 Ink, an imprint of Simon & Schuster, and released in 2019.
In a statement, Burke revealed that the memoir aims to “help readers understand the often overlooked historical connections of the role sexual violence plays in communities of color, specifically black communities, even today, while exploring ways the same communities have been both complicit and resilient.”
Burke also says the book will focus on healing rather than the actual trauma itself:
“More than anything, this memoir will provide survivors across the spectrum of sexual abuse a road map for healing that helps them understand that the ‘me too’ movement is more about triumph than trauma and that our wounds, though they may never fully heal, can also be the key to our survival.”
Burke, who serves as the senior director of Brooklyn-based Girls for Gender Equity, recently addressed a sold-out crowd of over a 1,000 attendees Tuesday night at the Calvary Episcopal Church in Shadyside at an event hosted by PublicSource. Burke addressed the awkward situation she was placed in when Alyssa Milano first tweeted the hashtag that has become the face of a Hollywood movement, with no credit being given to its creator:
“Do I want to be in conflict, or do I want to be in service?”
She reveals initially she worried if something she believed in so passionately would be devoured and spit out by the internet as often many hashtags are and was concerned that her “life’s work was gonna be erased… that if the Internet got a hold of it, it would never hold the same meaning as it’s held all of these years; it would never serve the same people it’s served all these years.”
She also expressed that her fears came from a place of validity with having “seen the appropriation of black women’s work, particularly over the Internet, again and again.”
Burke, in turn decided her place was to make sure the conversation included ALL survivors of sexual violence and not just famous cisgender white women. She also clears up what the original intention of #MeToo was and what it isn’t:
“There’s a spectrum of sexual violence, and sexual harassment is on one end of that,” Burke told reporters, “and it has to be dealt with, because it creates a culture that allows sexual violence to happen, but if the conversation stays there, then there’s all the other parts of that spectrum that get ignored.”
“This is not about taking down powerful men, but rather healing survivors and their communities.”
She also explained #MeToo is “not just for famous white cisgender women,” but rather, “a global community of survivors committed to healing as individuals and as a community… and committed to doing the work of interrupting sexual violence wherever it lives.”
Burke is proving that a hashtag is on the beginning of healing and hopefully her book will provide hope and strength to the very people who need it.