The Root Interview: Antoine Dodson

Antoine Dodson, concerned brother and YouTube sensation, talks to The Root about his BET Hip Hop Awards performance, sex crimes in black communities and his thoughts on Bishop Eddie Long's accusers.

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TR: African Americans have a particular, sensitive history with minstrel shows, which made a mockery of the conditions of black folk. Do you think people will connect your performance with minstrelsy?
AD: Of course they will connect it with that. The media is just going try to bring you down, but the whole thing about it is, I’m going to try my best not to be another Britney Spears and not let it take me down. I won’t go through it like she did, but she came out of it. People have jobs where they just dig up stuff, so you better count on it.

TR: Did the perpetrator ever get caught?
AD: No, he did not get caught, and the crimes are still happening in Lincoln Park. He must think that this is a hit around the world now and that he’s just going to keep going around breaking into people’s houses, thinking he can capitalize on it.  

TR: What do you plan to do with the fame?
AD: I plan to do a lot of things. I want to be everywhere. I want to get into the music industry. I want to be the voice of the people. Most of my fans are rape victims who are scared to talk about it. I want them to speak about it and do it aggressively — not trying to make a joke out of it and become a celebrity, but to let it flow from their hearts. When it comes to serious situations like this, you should really speak out.  

TR: So what are your goals with this?
AD: I’m just going into it as deep as I can. I want to talk about rape victims all over the world, and also my lifestyle. I’m an African-American gay man. Coming from Chicago [like I do], you will struggle with that lifestyle because people fear what they don’t understand, so I need to speak for them as well.