Program Success Fall 2018 | Page 12

Program Success 12 Fall 2018
Ronesia Barrs Daytona Beach , Florida Fall 2018
This is How a Black Woman Unravels Temi Oni Jacksonville , Florida Fall 2018
Black Woman Unravels continued frompage 11
I literally want to scream and in frustration , I tell myself to snap out of it . I ’ m looking around and there are families — white women with babies and strollers . Police officers . No one seems to notice . I ask myself if I should go to the police and tell them what has happened . Tell them what he said to me ... I can ’ t do it . I ’ m disgusted . I ’ m angry . And I ’ m looking at myself like , “ What the hell is wrong with you ?” How is it that despite everything that I feel , I still somehow tell myself that I have a responsibility to save this person that I don ’ t even know ? What is it about us that always wants to save someone ? I start to wonder : What if the circumstances were different ? What if it was the middle of the night , I ’ m by myself , and this same conversation happens ? What if he actually tried me ? I start thinking about all of the women who have been raped or victims of rape culture . I think about all the times I ’ ve empathized but never really understood . I think about hip-hop , R . Kelly , and all the blind eyes I ’ ve turned because of second chances , good intentions , and not knowing all the “ facts .” I think about Nia , Sandra and the dangers of being a black woman . I think about how black men don ’ t stand up for or protect us enough .
I think about how people only care when it ’ s too late , or worse , watch while it ’ s happening . think about my 20th birthday when I was half drunk , half asleep in my room and my roommates f ** k-buddy came in , trying to force himself on me . I think about how I told him to get out and he forcefully unbuttoned my pants . I think about how I started screaming my roommate ’ s name and she acted like she didn ’ t hear me . How I literally screamed , “ Get out of my room !” and she called out , “ Is everything OK ?,” but never once got up to check . I think about how he finally left and then saw me around like nothing ever happened . How I ran into him last year , in Los Angeles , seven years later , and he ’ s a big IG influencer / YouTube star . How he says , “ What ’ s up ” when he sees me and I say , “ Fuck you .” How he says I shouldn ’ t say anything because , “ That was a long time ago , man .” I see the police again . I want to approach them , but I know that when I tell them a tall black teenager threatened to rape me … I know that if I tell them a tall black teenager threatened to rape me , what I ’ m really telling them is ... I can ’ t do it . I keep walking . I get cat-called . I turn my music back on . It ’ s not the same . I can ’ t ignore it . I ’ m not OK . ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Temi Oni
Temi Oni is an artist , writer , and entrepreneur . For more on her work , visit Temioni . com