Arts, Civil Rights, News

Black women’s group pushes the sounds of silence for R. Kelly

R. Kelly

R. Kelly’s management today took issue with Time’s Up black women’s caucus after the organization called for a boycott of the singer’s live concerts and records because of his mistreatment of women.

He has been dropped from appearing in a concert scheduled for Friday at the University of Illinois in Chicago following protests. Kelly, a Chicago native, said he did not have any idea why his appearance was scrapped.

“I never heard of a show being canceled because of rumors,” R. Kelly said in a video. He is scheduled to appear May 11 in Greensboro, North Carolina.

Time’s Up’ #MuteRKelly campaign is urging black women to distance themselves from Kelly following years of allegations of statutory rape, aggravated assault, unlawful restraint and furnishing illegal drugs to a minor.  Supporters of the #MuteRKelly are Ava DuVernay, Shonda Rhimes and John Legend.

Kelly’s management claims the singer supports the goals of the Time’s Up movement. “We understand criticizing a famous artist is a good way to draw attention to those goals —- and in this case it is unjust and off-target,” management said.

The #MuteRKelly movement sounds a lot like the early days of Rock n’ Roll when white men wanted to prohibit their daughters dancing and listening to songs by black men.

The campaign also sounds similar to efforts by the federal government’s to silence Paul Robeson in the 1950s because they didn’t like what he was saying.

Jerry Lee Lewis

Singers dating and even marrying underage girls is nothing new. In 1958, white rocker Jerry Lee Lewis married his 13 year-old cousin Myra Gale Brown.

R. Kelly’s management team called what is happening to him an attempted public lynching of a black man. Only in this case, black women, not white men, are organizing it.

 

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