Program Success 12 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.
No one seems to notice.
I ask myself if I should go to the police and tell them what has
Tell them what he said to me ...
I can’t do it.
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
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
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
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
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
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 is an artist, writer, and entrepreneur. For more on her
work, visit Temioni.com