My sister was raped 60 canicule afterwards her 18th birthday. She was a apprentice at Penn State University. The defendants answerable in the case, Nate Parker and Jean Celestin, were on the angry aggregation and had the ability of the Penn State Athletic Department abaft them.
She was addled and hounded, and concluded up bottomward out. She had aloof age-old out of the beforehand affliction system, so it was a big accord for her to go to college. She had a adventitious at a cast new life, but that was baseborn from her.
Two years later, she went through the affliction of testifying. She endured assay by two cher attorneys who attacked her appearance and her background. Ultimately Parker was acquitted. Celestin was begin guilty, but the case was after chaotic on appeal.
She was acquisitive to affirm adjoin him again, but several years had passed, added assemblage had confused away, and prosecutors absitively not to retry the case. She went through every advantage she possibly could for justice, and she got none.
In the years that followed, Nate Parker became a acclaimed actor. It addled my sister to see him beforehand while she was still struggling. In 2012, she committed suicide. It took me added than two years to not cry berserk every day over her loss.
I can alone brainstorm the affliction she would be experiencing now to see Nate Parker announcement his new movie, “The Birth of a Nation,” which he wrote with Celestin.
As her sister, the affair that pains me best of all is that in call the adventure of the Nat Turner bondservant revolt, they invented a abduction scene. The abduction of Turner’s wife is acclimated as a acumen to absolve Turner’s rebellion.
This is fiction. I acquisition it awful and abnormal that Parker and Celestin would put a fabulous abduction at the centermost of their film, and that Parker would portray himself as a hero avenging that rape.
Given what happened to my sister, and how no one was captivated answerable for it, I acquisition this apparatus egoistic and sinister, and I booty it as a atrocious insult to my sister’s memory.
I anticipate it’s important for bodies to apperceive Nat Turner’s story. But bodies should apperceive that Turner did not charge abduction to absolve what he did. Parker and Celestin did not charge to add that to Turner’s adventure to accomplish him added sympathetic.
Fox Searchlight should add a abnegation advertence that did not appear or aish those scenes altogether.
I accept apprehend the allotment by Gabrielle Union, a abduction survivor who co-stars in the film, in which she argues that the blur should be acclimated as an befalling to reflect on animal violence. That would acquiesce my sister to be exploited all over again, and it sickens me. I am acutely aghast in anyone who would use my sister’s adventure to beforehand their own acclaim and fortune.
I anticipate Nate Parker and Jean Celestin knew this would appear up. I anticipate they anticipation that they could get abroad with base my sister again, aloof like they did aback at Penn State. They would aloof say that they were exonerated, and that they could aish her allegations. And now, instead of the ability of Penn State, they would accept the ability of 20th Century Fox and the Murdoch ancestors abaft them.
But in the aftermost month, as the balloon transcripts accept appear out, I accept been adequate to see so abounding bodies assemblage to avert my sister. I apperceive she would feel honored, as she never got that akin of abutment in life.
Since she is no best actuality to allege for herself, I feel a assignment to allege on her behalf. I was the aing being to her throughout her life. Nate Parker acquired her so abundant pain, and that affliction and acrimony are still raw for me.
I will delay for a accurate adaptation of this adventure to be told — one that respects history and does not re-exploit my sister. When she was 18 years old and incapacitated, Nate Parker and Jean Celestin had ability over her. They abused that power, and they abide to apply that ability to this day.
— As told to Gene Maddaus
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