Tisha Campbell-Martin has been in the spotlight for much of her life, but only recently did she open up about a horrific incident in her past. The singer and actress was raped when she was just three-years-old—and in her new music video, she’s empowering both herself and all other survivors of sexual assault.
In “Steel Here,” Martin wears a segment of the apology letter that was sent to her by her rapist from jail. The words painted on her chest read his message:
Dear Beloved Tisha,
This apology has been in my heart and on my mind for decades. For decades there has been a grieving pain within me coupled with an unending shame for my past behavior.
But through this pain, Martin rises to flourish in spite of her pain. “I’m owning my existence,” she sings. “It’s a system of survival.” While the music video and song both acknowledge her struggle, the singer, as a whole, focuses on how she overcame her hardships, coming to a place of acceptance with herself and her sexual assault. She Tweeted about her intentions as well, saying that she has newfound freedom in her life.
The color of the dress reps beauty and strength each dancer attached 2 me reps purging of anger, grudge, pain... https://t.co/0TyxngRitH— Tisha4real (@TishaCampblMrtn) September 22, 2015
@theartofpsycho ...low self esteem, self-deprecation or any negative emotion) being released and the freedom from it. The writing...— Tisha4real (@TishaCampblMrtn) September 22, 2015
@theartofpsycho the writing on my body and the man writing the letter reps the actual words of an apology letter I recently received...— Tisha4real (@TishaCampblMrtn) September 22, 2015
@theartofpsycho ... From the person who violated me when I was 3 yrs old. By blessing me w the apology letter he allotted me the ability...— Tisha4real (@TishaCampblMrtn) September 22, 2015
Campbell-Martins’s message is an extremely powerful one, and by sharing her story, she enables others to do the same. And that, in itself, is inspiring.
(via The Root)