June 17, 2008
Six years have gone by since we first heard the allegations that R. Kelly had filmed himself having sex with an underage girl. During that time we have seen the videotape being hawked on street corners in Black communities, as if the dehumanization of one of our own was not at stake. We have seen entertainers rally around him and watched his career reach new heights despite the grave possibility that he had molested and urinated on a 13-year old girl. We saw African Americans purchase millions of his records despite the long history of such charges swirling around the singer. Worst of all, we have witnessed the sad vision of Black people cheering his acquittal with a fervor usually reserved for community heroes and shaken our heads at the stunning lack of outrage over the verdict in the broader Black community.
Over these years, justice has been delayed and it has been denied. Perhaps a jury can accept R. Kelly’s absurd defense and find “reasonable doubt” despite the fact that the film was shot in his home and featured a man who was identical to him. Perhaps they doubted that the young woman in the courtroom was, in fact, the same person featured in the ten year old video. But there is no doubt about this: some young Black woman was filmed being degraded and exploited by a much older Black man, some daughter of our community was left unprotected, and somewhere another Black woman is being molested, abused or raped and our callous handling of this case will make it that much more difficult for her to come forward and be believed. And each of us is responsible for it.
June 11, 2008
Aishah Shahidah Simmons, Independent Documentary Filmmaker interviewed by Sonya Shields
“Aishah Shahidah Simmons and I met over ten years ago in Washington, DC when she was dating an old friend. We spent a Saturday night with friends dancing at the Hung Jury and talking about our future goals. I remember thinking that she was intensely passionate and I followed her career. I had not seen Aishah since that fun night until I ran into her this past fall when she attended the event to celebrate Katherine Acey’s 20th Anniversary with the Astraea Foundation. I knew that I wanted to talk with Aishah about her work and journey to becoming an award-winning independent documentary filmmaker, television and radio producer, published writer, international lecturer, and activist living in Philadelphia…
What is your passion?
My passion is centralizing the margins of society. Making the invisible, visible. Documenting the lives of women of color globally. I am an activist. The camera lens is my medium to make social change irresistible.
April 28, 2008
Sexual Assault Documentary Featured On WBAI, New York
April 28, 2008
NO! The Rape Documentary & Aishah Shahidah Simmons on Joy of Resistance Multicultural Feminist Radio
April 21, 2008
Aishah Shahidah Simmons and Monica Dillon are featured guests during Sexual Assault Awareness Month | University of Wisconsin-Madison
From April 15, 2008 through April 17, 2008, Aishah Shahidah Simmons and Monica Dillon will be featured guest lecturers, workshop facilitators, and performers at University of Wisconsin – Madison as a part of their Sexual Assault Awareness Month programming. In addition to screening NO! The Rape Documentary and meeting with studens and faculty, they will perform “For Women and Men of Rage & Reason, a cinematic, poetic and musical journey from victim to survivor and activist in the international movements to end violence against women.
An extra highlight to this experience is that Tiona M., the fierce producer, director, photographer, and editor of the ground breaking documentary black./womyn.:conversations… will document Monica and Aishah’s performances and presentations. Tiona will also screen the black./womyn.:conversations trailer, which features the voices of over 50 lesbians of African descent, including Monica and Aishah, and talk about the process of making this important film.
April 10, 2008
It’s A Crisis
April 10, 2008
Rape and Race: We have to talk about it.
April 9, 2008
In recognition of Sexual Assault Awareness Month
On Thrusday, April 10, 2008 at 7pm, The Women’s Resource Center at the University of Houston will host a screening and discussion of the award-winning, feature length documentary NO!, which is about rape, other forms of violence against women, and healing. Producer, writer, and director Aishah Shahidah Simmons will introduce the documentary and facilitate a question and answer session immediately following the screening.
March 12, 2008
Violence Against Women| Screening of NO! at Raday Salon in Budapest Hungary
After a long hiatus of screenings, book signings, and lectures, the Raday Salon kicks off its 2008 season with a screening of NO! The Rape Documentary to commemorate Women’s History Month. This is not the first time that Raday Salon has hosted screenings and discussions of NO! The Rape Documentary both as a rough cut and now as a completed documentary to standing room only audiences. However given the horrific and unfortuante global manifestation of sexual violence, combined with requests from people who have not had the opportunity to view the documentary, Linda Carranza and Michael Simmons, the Salon’s co-founders, are hosting an encore screening.
“...We have developed many new ties with folks who are new to Budapest or just new to our Salon, who have expressed an interest in seeing the film. We would be happy to see both old and new Salon friends at this showing, especially as the discussion is always different and brings up new observations every time we show the film…” will be an encore screening and discussion of NO! The Rape Documentary.” — Linda Carranza & Michael Simmons
March 12, 2008
Black History Month | Screening of NO! The Rape Documentary @ The Brecht Forum
On February 7, 2008, there was an almost standing room only screening NO! The Rape Documentary at the Brecht Forum. Immediately following the screening there was a very lively panel discussion with Ejeris Dixon, the Program Coordinator of the Safe OUTside the System Collective, Ebony Noelle Golden, poet and organizer, who is a founding member of UBUNTU and other groups in the Durham area after the Duke lacrosse case, and Michael Simmons, who is an international human rights activist and a featured interviewee in NO!. Unfortunately, due to illness, Salamishah Tillet, who was scheduled to moderate the discussion, wasn’t able to participate in the conversation.
One of the people who attended is a member of an organization called “SAFER (Students Active for Ending Rape)“, an advocacy group in the US which works to improve universities’ response to sexual assaults in the campus environment. After attending the event, she wrote two reaction pieces on the SAFER organization’s blog, which you can read by clicking the following two links.
NO! A Documentary about Rape
NO! Part 2