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The Black church enabled R. Kelly’s abuse of Black girls

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The long-awaited justice for R. Kelly’s survivors finally came last month when a New York federal jury found him guilty of racketeering and sex trafficking.

For nearly 30 years, underage Black girls and their families have tried to bring Kelly to justice. Now the question being asked is: what took so long?

“The entertainer had an expansive network of enablers around him, federal prosecutors said, from his closest confidantes and employees to many in the music industry who knew of the concerns about his behavior but did not intervene,” wrote Troy Closson, a New York Times reporter covering law enforcement and criminal justice. Several institutions failed these Black girls, though, including the judiciary, law enforcement, and the Black community and church.

In 2002, the same day after posting a $750,000 bond on child pornography charges, Kelly left court to attend a child’s graduation ceremony at Salem Christian Academy in Chicago.

One would think Kelly’s sing-along with the kindergartners would land him back in jail. But accompanying Kelly from the courthouse to the graduation was the renowned Rev. James Meeks, Kelly’s spiritual adviser and senior pastor at the Salem Baptist Church.

In 2019, after the airing of Lifetime’s docuseries Surviving R. Kelly , which sparked […]

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