January 2019

SAU students turn negative on R. Kelly, but some will still listen to his music

Saint Augustine’s University students are upset by R. Kelly’s actions but many will continue to support his music. That is the result of an informal survey of students by The Falcon Forum earlier this week, following the release of a documentary series Surviving R. Kelly.

In the documentary, aired starting Jan. 3 on Lifetime, a number of women, including minors, alleged that they had been abused mentally and physically by the R&B singer.

Kamya Renwicks, a business administration junior from Baltimore, Maryland, and Aaliyah Brewton, a sophomore theater major from Savannah, Georgia, have very negative opinions of R. Kelly after watching the series.

“I felt upset because he had so much power and police always came to his house or were always involved but he never once got locked up,” Renwicks said. “I don’t actually value him as a person just based on what he did and how he could do certain things to girls at a young age.”

Brewton said the series made her “uncomfortable and uneasy.” She added, “I could understand the hurt that they felt. He’s a predator, a pedophile, and I felt like he should be locked up for what he did because what he did was unethical.”

Although the series has sparked negative reactions on campus, many said they will still listen to his music. Kimber Walker, a psychology junior from Durham, NC, said, “I do not like him as a person now but, honestly, if one of his songs come on, it would be hard for me not to groove to it because his music is so iconic.”

Jerrica Jefferson, a senior public health major from Mississippi, still enjoys his music. “I do not feel like it is right what he did to those girls, but I will still enjoy his music,” she stated.

— Jeydri Urbina