The culmination of nearly 20 years of investigating the case against the alleged predatory sexual abuse of R&B icon R. Kelly today results in the Soulless: The Case Against R. Kelly, a forthcoming book by Chicago author, journalist and music critic Jim DeRogatis.
DeRogatis’ essential account of his relentless chronicling of Kelly’s behavior was at the heart of the book’s official debut set in New York City’s The Greene Space, Tuesday evening (June 4).
Along with #MeToo founder Tarana Burke and writer Jamilah Lemieux, DeRogatis delved into the details of his latest work, which follows Kelly’s case from the earliest accusations and trial to what transpired well after the singer was acquitted, subsequently disappearing from media attention.
Burke and Lemieux draw from the gravity of Kelly’s behavior, to further zero in on how media, music and the Black community at large failed the dozens of young Black women who were subjected to Kelly’s violence.
“There were systems of people that had to exist to protect this man,” Burke said to DeRogatis when discussing the ways in which Kelly evaded criminal punishment for so long.
The panel also prompted a conversation about activism, journalistic integrity and the accountability that had to take place in order for Kelly’s case to reach proper reckoning. Watch the whole thing go down in the video clip below.
For more information or to cop DeRogatis’ book, visit here here.
(Photo by Janice Yi / The Greene Space at WNYC)