On September 9, Solange Knowles and her family went to a Kraftwerk concert in New Orleans. There, some women had apparently missed the memo that live music typically inspires patrons to — gasp! — get up out of their seats and dance. They were so outraged that the singer, her husband, her son, and her son's friend were standing up and dancing that they screamed and threw a chewed-up lime at her, all in an effort to make her sit down.
Solange, understandably, was furious, and recounted the incident on her Twitter account during the performance. (The majority of her tweets from the show have since been deleted.) On September 11, she posted a piece to her website entitled "And Do You Belong? I Do" that goes deeper than 140 ever could when it comes to unpacking why those women screamed at her the way they did, and how she experienced it as a black woman being chastised by white women in a predominantly white audience.
She begins by recounting past experiences that mirrored the incident at the Kraftwerk show, referring to "the tone" that she's heard in airports, at the airline check-in desk, in a train car, and elsewhere when someone was mistreating her: "You don’t feel that most of the people in these incidents do not like black people, but simply are a product of their white supremacy and are exercising it on you without caution, care, or thought. Many times the tone just simply says, 'I do not feel you belong here.'"
From there, Solange connects the screaming women throwing trash to the big picture, and namely those who questioned why she was speaking out about their actions on social media in the first place.
"You constantly see the media having a hard time contextualizing black women and men as victims every day, even when it means losing their own lives. You do not care in that moment because you understand that many of your followers will understand and have been through this same type of thing many a times, and if it means them hearing you say it’s ok, you will rise again through out these moments, then it means something bigger to you. You realize that you never called these women racists, but people will continuously put those words in your mouth. What you did indeed say is, 'This is why many black people are uncomfortable being in predominately white spaces,' and you still stand true to that."
Read Solange's piece in full here. And good lord, be a decent human and don't throw citrus at people dancing exactly where they should be.