You Could Have Been Kenneka Jenkins

You Could Have Been Kenneka Jenkins

I wish the world cared.

The Kenneka Jenkins story urks my soul. I can’t get it out of my mind. I have obsessed over it, the situation, the room, the atmosphere- I have watched speculation videos, I have read countless of articles about her mysterious death. She was your typical teen out on a typical night headed to a party. She didn't know this would be her last night on earth. Her mama didn't know she would never see her child again.

I care about Kenneka Jenkins just like I care about the young women in my community. Kenneka was found dead in a hotel freezer. Police are saying drugs and alcohol were possibly involved. This death would have slipped through the cracks if it had not been for social media. I cannot digest this story. In someways, I feel our community is responsible for her death. In regards to our young people, we must do better.

Kenneka wasn’t just a teenager; she was a daughter, a sister, and a friend. Kenneka had a purpose. This death is a tragedy, not a spectacle. Like many black women, we have been ridiculed by society.

Our own community exploits, abuse, and bullies then discards us like old news. We have no protectors; there are no groups that advocate for black women. Black women are taught from an early age to "trust no one" and be independent. Why? Because who has our back?

A teenage girl lost her life due to negligent friends who didn’t give a damn about her. She made poor choices, but how many of us haven’t? I can only imagine what happened that night and it’s not good. I wonder how could someone's “friends” leave their friend drunk an unattended.

Kenneka could have been you. You could have been the drunk girl that no one cared about. You could have been the girl found mysteriously dead in freezer- a cold case.

Imagine this:

That hotel room was filled of aggression, drunkenness, and hormones playing Russian Roulette. The men there were expecting sex and seeking pleasure. The crowd just wants to have fun. We all know this game, the game of risk and pleasure, the game of tension and sex.

Open bottles of White and Brown liquor lay on the table. The jelly shot you made and the mixed drinks your best friend stayed all night making are scattered on the floor. Future is playing in the background and everybody is high and enjoying life, smoking and drinking, chilling. It’s a kickback, going to the club gets old and you are tired of turning up with strangers. Your best friend told you weeks in advance she was going to hook up with older dude from a local college. She wants you to hook up with his friend.

You see him on social media. He’s cute. He follows you on the gram, you follow back, DMs back and forth till the day of the party; you know him. You aren’t interested in him, but you don’t want to be a lame. Your best friend tries to convince you he’s cool. You don’t want to ruin your best friends plan so you go along with it. The day of the party, she tells you to "wear something sexy." You pick a nice outfit to show off your figure. You pick a crop top and blue jeggings. You don’t want to overdo it. You not a ho and you not at the club so you want to be chill and cute. Besides people think you're stuck up.

You want to show people that you can have fun too. You're not planning on having sex, so you good, nothing to worry about. The kickback begins at 11. A few girls you don’t know well come over and then the guys come over. The ratio is right. For every girl, there is a boy. People are having a good time. Before you know it, it's one in the morning. You and let's call him Brandon are talking, but you don’t want him like that.

The party thins out its only 6 people left. Your best friend tells you she and her guy are going upstairs. You ask your friend confirmation on staying the night. She tells you not to worry. You’ll be straight everybody else will leave. You can’t say nothing, you didn’t drive, and the house is an hour from your dorm. You can’t walk back not in the dark by yourself. You didn’t plan on staying the night. Ole dude with you is drunk, the other guy and girl are leaving. So it’s just you and him.

This is what happened to me;

I was on the couch. He sat next to me.

“You want to watch a movie?” he asked.

I said sure. I was planning on staying up. I was uncomfortable and I didn’t trust him. He was a tall guy, 6ft 5, and sturdy. He put on some Netflix. He got close to me. I was stiff. He told me to relax, but I couldn’t relax. I wanted to run upstairs and tell my friend that I was ready to go, but I didn’t move. I was stuck. My body turned cold. I could feel my heart climbing up my throat.

It was like I was paralyzed. He rubbed the outside of thigh with his dry hand. He told me I looked good. I whispered Thank you. The room staled. The liquor on his breath stank and his gestures were clumsy. He cracked a couple of jokes but the room stayed still. He then tried to bury his face in my neck. I sprung up like I touched something hot. He stood up too. I told him don’t touch me. He told me to calm down. He was laughing, I wasn’t.

“I’m not going to mess with you” he said. He tried to scoop me up, but I planted my feet firmly in the ground.

I told him to stay on the far side of the room and I’ll stay on mine. He agreed. I sat on the couch, played on my phone until my phone went dead. His eyes stayed on me and when they left they look at the TV. Surprisingly, we were watching the movie Enough.

I was able to calm myself down, but I couldn’t shake the feeling of paranoia. I waited for him to go to sleep and when he knocked out a wave of relief came over me. It was 3:00 am. I decided to close my eyes and get some sleep. I fell asleep quick, but then I felt something sticky on my leg. I opened my eyes and I saw arm underneath my top.

A large hand was cupping my breast. His other hand squeezed my quad. A wet suction was on my neck. His hot beady tongue glided down my neck. I tensed up. A rough voice told me to relax. I nodded in fear. I didn’t make a sound and I didn’t try to leave. His left hand scurried to find my sipper a low moan escaped his lips. I stayed there.

He couldn’t find the sipper so he became irritated. He coaxed me rubbing over my leggings. He then tried to spread my legs open, but my legs were squeezed shut. I clasped my hands together and I crossed my ankles. I tucked my body in and rammed myself forward to the board of the couch. I squeezed my eyes shut and I grimace.

If he wanted to rape he would have to pry me open. He went for my vagina before he could touch it. I pressed my legs together so tight pain from groin shot up to my stomach. I continued to stay in the fetal position, he began to grunt and put his sex on my back. I folded myself together like a pretzel. I didn’t say anything. He fought to get my legs free but he couldn’t. He tired once last time to break me open, but I was like a rock. He could not move me.

Finally, he gave up. I stayed like that till morning. I don’t know how, but I fell asleep and when I woke, he was off the couch slumped over. My instincts kicked in, I went to the kitchen and grabbed a knife. When he awoke I told him the next time he touched me I would kill him or call the police. He left just like that. I never told my friends at the time what happened, but I never hung out with them again, because I knew real friends won’t leave you with a stranger drunk.

Real friends will protect you from anyone including yourself. Real friends will make sure you get home safely. Kenneka’s friends may have not set up her, but they damn sure didn’t try to help her when she needed them most. There is nothing wrong with having a “mama” friend because those friends that act like a mom, you know the ones that are Debbie Downers are looking out for you. And chances are when the rubber hits the road they will save your life.

Cover Image Credit: Chicago Tribune

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37 Things Growing Up in the South Taught You

Where the tea is sweet, but the people are sweeter.

1. The art of small talking.
2. The importance of calling your momma.
3. The beauty of sweet tea.
4. How to use the term “ma'am” or “sir” (that is, use it as much as possible).
5. Real flowers are way better than fake flowers.
6. Sometimes you only have two seasons instead of four.
7. Fried chicken is the best kind of chicken.
8. When it comes to food, always go for seconds.
9. It is better to overdress for Church than underdress.
10. Word travels fast.
11. Lake days are better than beach days.
12. Handwritten letters never go out of style.
13. If a man doesn’t open the door for you on the first date, dump him.
14. If a man won’t meet your family after four dates, dump him.
15. If your family doesn’t like your boyfriend, dump him.
16. Your occupation doesn’t matter as long as you're happy.
17. But you should always make sure you can support your family.
18. Rocking chairs are by far the best kind of chairs.
19. Cracker Barrel is more than a restaurant, it's a lifestyle.
20. Just 'cause you are from Florida and it is in the south does not make you Southern.
21. High School football is a big deal.
22. If you have a hair dresser for more than three years, never change. Trust her and only her.
23. The kids in your Sunday school class in third grade are also in your graduating class.
24. Makeup doesn’t work in the summer.
25. Laying out is a hobby.
26. Moms get more into high school drama than high schoolers.
27. Sororities are a family affair.
28. You never know how many adults you know 'til its time to get recommendation letters for rush.
29. SEC is the best, no question.
30. You can't go wrong buying a girl Kendra Scotts.
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32. Biscuits and gravy are bae.
33. Sadie Robertson is a role model.
34. If it is game day you should be dressed nice.
35. If you pass by a child's lemonade stand you better buy lemonade from her. You're supporting capitalism.
36. You are never too old to go home for just a weekend… or just a meal.
37. You can’t imagine living anywhere but the South.

Cover Image Credit: Grace Valentine

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If Women Are Sluts For Having Sex, Then Men Are Even Sluttier Than Us

Raise your hand if you've ever been called a slut.


Raise your hand if you've ever been called a slut. Most people are under the impression that only women can be referred to as sluts. But I'm here to set the record straight. Contrary to popular belief, guys can be sluts too.

Time for a brief history lesson. According to The Daily Oxford, one of the first uses of the word "slut" was in literature during the 14th century. Specifically, the author questioned, "Why is thy lord so sluttish?"

Surprisingly, the author wasn't referring to sex. Here, he was talking about the man's appearance, which was contradictory to his rank. Although the author didn't mention the word sex, we can agree that the appearance of a person often contributes to the meaning of the word "slut."

I'm sure you've heard the saying "don't judge a book by its cover," but we all know that our society is judgmental. It wasn't until later that the term "slut" evolved to mean "a dirty woman." Regardless of its roots, this term is usually only used to describe a woman.

Why is that? Men often judge women for their sexual activity. And it's unfair.

We live in a society where men are not judged as harshly for their sexual activity. God forbid a woman enjoys sex, she's considered a slut.

Then there are the girls who are just plain mean. Rather than bring each other up, women often tear each other down. Remember how in "Mean Girls" Regina told Gretchen that everyone hated Karen because she was such a slut? This happens more often than you may think. Think about this. Regina's boyfriend Aaron kissed Cady while they were still dating. Gretchen's boyfriend Jason was known for getting around. Never once was the term "slut" used to describe a guy in the movie.

Eventually, these negative terms became widely used and that leads us to where we are today. Perhaps, we should recognize the fact that both men and women can exhibit "slutty" behavior.

And sure, men already have their own term "Fuckboys" but let's get real. That term focuses primarily on the act of playing with a girl's emotions. "Manslut" would be a more accurate term to describe a guy who sleeps around. Now, I'm not endorsing name-calling, but if you must, know what you're talking about.

Urban Dictionary defines a "manslut" as a promiscuous male. A simple and clean definition. Well, simple yes, clean not so much. These are the type of guys you can take ONE look at and you know who they've been with and what they've done.

Many people like to point fingers towards fraternity guys such as "Chad", but any guy who "gets around" fits the bill. He can be your neighbor, that guy from the bar, or even your coworker. "Mansluts" are everywhere.

Rest assured, you'll know a "manslut" when you see one. Use protection and proceed with caution. Trust me, you're not the only one he's been with this week.

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