On Sept. 28, in the year of our Lord 2021, after a three-part documentary series that outlined the ways of predatory abuse; the national emergence of #MeToo and #MuteRKelly movements to protect Black women and girls; a tip off from courageous women claiming dark and twisted sexual, physical and psychological violence; following desperate calls from parents seeking to rescue their daughters from the mindfuck a sexual predator; beyond the whispers of sexually inappropriate activity with a preference for underage girls, a rather suspect relationship and marriage to the late singer Aaliyah; non-disclosure contracts and above all, the leak of salacious sex-tape that involved an obviously pubescent child who was allegedly 14-years-old at time, a Brooklyn jury has found Robert Sylvester Kelly guilty, confirming what many Black women already knew.
According to photojournalist Caroline Mungo, diehard and delusional fans blasted R. Kelly music outside the Supreme Court, championing and cheerleading an acquittal that never arrived.
Kelly was convicted on all nine counts of sexual trafficking and racketeering. It was a verdict heard around the music industry, across social media and felt in the hearts of many Black women and girls who survived sexual and psychological assault.
This verdict and victory has been a long time coming for those who amplified the voices of Black women and girls impacted by sexual violence. These activists led the charge in shutting down the self-proclaimed Pied Piper and brought national awareness to a demographic whose trauma is often ignored in their households, the media and the justice system.
When MADAMENOIRE caught up with co-founders of the #MuteRKelly Movement they shared the gravity of this victory. Kenyette Tisha Barnes told us she believes “this conviction is a pivotal moment in our history and his legacy: Black girls matter and he is a convicted sexual predator.”
Oronike Odeleye added:
I’m really humbled by this moment. A moment of rage has led to a worldwide movement that led to long delayed justice for dozens of women. I have been holding all of his survivors in my thoughts for years. I really hope that this verdict gives them some small measure of closure and helps them in their healing. ALL of this has been for them. Cause I LOVE Black women and we deserve more than we’ve been given. This victory means justice, but it’s also an example to young women coming up after us. We don’t have to suffer in silence. We can speak our truths out loud. We can demand justice – regardless of the fame, money or power of our abuser. We can insist that the world pay attention to our issues. We can fight, for however long it takes, to get the justice that we deserve. This is a victory for ALL of us, because we all did this together.
Yes. We did