By: Ahmad Greene-Hayes
Last week, I saw the NYC pre-screening of “The Birth of A Nation.” I left feeling invigorated by the same Holy Spirit that called Nat Turner to lead a slave revolt in 1831. My excitement soon diminished, however, when I learned that Nate Parker, the film’s lead, is a rapist.
I’m a Black man like Nate, but I’m also a survivor in community with far more survivors than I can count on my ten fingers. And though many have run to Nate’s defense, I am left wondering who will cry for those who have been assaulted? Who will stand with the Black women whose DNA holds psychic scars of racial-sexual terror? Who will believe survivors, even when the rapist is a Black male athlete, actor, and humanitarian? Who will listen to the voices and the silences of survivors who are no longer with us, who took their lives because the pain was too much?