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Solange Explains Why ‘Black People Are Uncomfortable’ in ‘White Spaces’ After Trash Attack at Concert

Artist likens her experience being mistaken for a prostitute to being told she was in the wrong line for a first-class flight in essay

After having trash thrown at her for dancing at a concert she attended over the weekend, Solange Knowles has written an essay explaining why black people are uncomfortable in “predominately white spaces.”

Titled “And Do You Belong? I Do,” the essay goes into detail about the singer’s experience at a Kraftwerk concert in New Orleans on Friday night with her husband, their 11-year-old son and his friend in order to expose the kids to a band that was influential to hip-hop.

According to her essay, Knowles began dancing when, shortly thereafter, a couple of women began aggressively yelling at her to sit down. When she didn’t oblige, the women began pelting her with trash — which included a half-consumed lime.

“You feel something heavy hit you on the back of your shoulder, but consider that you are imagining things because well … certainly a stranger would not have the audacity,” Knowles said. “Moments later, you feel something again, this time smaller, less heavy, and your son and his friend tell you those ladies just hit you with a lime.”

Knowles initially wrote about the incident on Twitter, but her tweets have since been deleted.

The singer said the attack was preceded by the accusation that her son and his friend (again, 11 years old) were smoking during the event.

“Simultaneously, a much older black venue attendant comes over to your son and his friend and yells, ‘No electronic cigarettes allowed, you need to stop doing that now!'” the artist recounted.

“You are too into the groove and let your husband handle it and tell the attendant that the children are 11 years old, and it’s actually the two grown white men in front of you guys who were smoking them.”

In her personal essay, Knowles went on to explain that the incident was endemic of a larger issue, detailing instances of multiple microaggressions throughout her life during which she was told she didn’t belong. From being mistaken for prostitutes to being told she was in the wrong line when checking in for a first-class flight.

“You have lived a part of your life in predominately white spaces since you were a kid and even had your 3rd grade teacher tell you ‘what a nigger is’ in front of your entire white class,” wrote Knowles. “You watched your parents trying to explain why this was wrong to her and learned then it can be virtuously impossible to get your point across.”

Knowles added that even though she never called the women at the concert racists, “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,” she wrote.

Read the full essay here.