Black News, Entertainment, Style and Culture - HuffPost Black Voices
iOS app Android app More
October 2, 2014

Secret Service Director Resigns Amid White House Intruder Scandal

Julia Pierson
Chip Somodevilla via Getty Images

Reporter Spots Missing Boy While Covering Child's Disappearance

Missing Boy
Newsy

Florida Officer On Leave After Using Stun Gun On Woman

Viola Young
Leon County Sheriff

Prison Chief Outraged At Jailed Cop Killer's Invitation To Speak At College's Commencement

Mumia Abujamal
MANDEL NGAN via Getty Images

Cop-Killer Commencement Invite Is 'How Freedom Of Expression Works'

Mumia Abu Jamal
ASSOCIATED PRESS

Brooklyn Police Tell Black Teens 'Get Out Of The Neighborhood:' Witness

Fox News' Ben Carson Thinks New AP U.S. History Course Will Make Students Join ISIS

Ben Carson
Laura Segall via Getty Images

Blacks Less Likely To Sell Drugs, Much More Likely To Be Arrested For It

Drug Dealing
jupiterimages

Politico's Absolutely Insane Obama Assassination Article

Obama Angry
NICHOLAS KAMM via Getty Images

New York City Should Lead on Banning Credit Discrimination

Bill De Blasio
ASSOCIATED PRESS

Cop Allegedly Shot Unarmed Man Parked In His Own Driveway

Ernest Satterwhite
Columbia County/AP

Here's What Happens If The Supreme Court Rejects Gay Marriage Cases

Supreme Court Gay Marriage
Mark Wilson via Getty Images

Rising Approval For Obama's Handling Of ISIS

Obama Syria
ASSOCIATED PRESS

States With More Abortion Laws Have Less Support For Women And Children's Health

Pregnant Woman
Buero Monaco via Getty Images

Rahm Emanuel Has 'Ticked Off A Lot Of People'

Rahm Black Voters
Bloomberg via Getty Images

Ebola Case Diagnosed In U.S. For The First Time

Ebola Virus
Fuse via Getty Images

White House Might Cave On A New Minimum Wage Rule

Barack Obama
ASSOCIATED PRESS

Depression Is Not One-Size-Fits-All, And Neither Is The Treatment

Depression
Inti St Clair via Getty Images

Muslim NFL Player Penalized After Prayer In End Zone

Husain Abdullah
Instagram

'Judging America' Photo Series Captures Nation's Stereotypes

Judging America
Joel Pares Photography

How Pregnant Women Are Becoming Victims Of The Ebola Outbreak

Ebola Pregnant Women
The Washington Post via Getty Images

Police In Ferguson Lock Up Peaceful Daytime Protesters By Mistake, Chief Testifies

Jon Belmar
ASSOCIATED PRESS

For-Profit Prison Bankers Prey On Inmates' Families With Exorbitant Fees

Black Hands Jail
bortn76 via Getty Images

NYC To Raise Wages For Thousands At Bottom Of The Pay Scale

Bill De Blasio
ASSOCIATED PRESS

Climate Change Is Driving Heat Waves Around The World: Report

Hot Sun
Comstock via Getty Images

Some Louisiana Hospitals Are Sticking Rape Victims With Enormous Bills

Sad Black Woman
Izabela Habur via Getty Images

8 Arrested In Ferguson As Protests Show No Sign Of Slowing Down

Ferguson
ASSOCIATED PRESS

How To Get Out Of An Exercise Rut

Exercise Rut
Gary Burchell

How Ferguson Is Stifling Journalism With Insanely High Fees

Ferguson
ASSOCIATED PRESS

Obama Predicts Democrats Will Hold The Senate In November

Obama
Earl Gibson III via Getty Images

How Few Campus Sexual Assault Cases Result In Expulsion

Campus Rape
Bloomberg via Getty Images

Authorities Hunt Suspects Wanted In Shooting Of Ferguson Police Officer

Ferguson
AP

Eric Holder's Longtime Friend Says His Replacement Will Be A Woman

Eric Holder
AP/Getty

Inmate With Schizophrenia Died Of Thirst After 35 Days Of Solitary

Prison Bars
fotokon via Getty Images

Kenyan Breaks Marathon World Record

Dennis Kimetto
TOBIAS SCHWARZ via Getty Images

Obama: Mistrust Of Police Corroding American Society

Barack Obama
Earl Gibson III via Getty Images

Follow HuffPost

    1. HuffPost
    1. HuffPost
    1. Most Popular on HuffPost
    2. Latest News
    3. View all RSS feeds

Tyler Perry Excited About Baby, But Not Delivery Room

Tyler Perry The Haves And The Have Nots

Diddy Reacts To Jennifer Lopez's 'Booty' Just As You'd Imagine

Puff Jennifer Lopez
KMazur via Getty Images

The 'Jury Is Out' On Whether Tracy Morgan Will Ever Perform Again

Tracy Morgan
Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP

The Hypnotic (And Very Glittery) Beauty Of Haitian Vodou Flags

Siler

New 'Update' Anchor Reveals Why Getting Hired At 'SNL' Is 'Weird'

Che
NBC

WATCH: Lil Kim Blasts K. Michelle & Nicki Minaj

Lil Kim
Power 105

Rosie O'Donnell And Whoopi Goldberg Get Into A HUGE Fight On 'The View'

Rosie Whoopi
Getty

Jaden Smith Releases A Seven-Minute Song About Coachella

Jaden
SoundCloud

Beyonce Is White Hot In A Bikini

Beyonce2
Beyonce.com

Tracy Morgan: 'I Can't Believe Walmart Is Blaming Me'

Tracy Morgan
Bennett Raglin/BET via Getty Images

WATCH: Nas' New Documentary 'Time Is Illmatic'

Nas Time Is Illmatic
Tribeca Film Festival

The Real-Life 'Olivia Pope' Got Pranked By George H.W. Bush

Judy Smith Bush
ASSOCIATED PRESS

WATCH: Girlfriend Intervention Show Dismantled In 5 Minute Spoof

Phoebe Robinson
Phoebe Robinson YouTube

The 18 Style Hacks That Every Dapper Man Must Know

Blazer
gettystock

Anita Baker's Lawyer Says Singer Owes Him Over $50K

Anita Baker
ASSOCIATED PRESS

Kenny Leon Set To Direct Another Broadway Classic

Kenny Leon
Jim Spellman via Getty Images

Kim Kardashian And North West Wear Matching Sheer Outfits In Paris

Kim Kardashian North West
Bertrand Rindoff Petroff via Getty Images

'Law & Order: SVU' Takes On This Year's Biggest Celebrity Elevator Scandals

Svu
NBC

Listen to Aretha Franklin Cover Adele's 'Rolling In The Deep'

Aretha Franklin
Vevo

'I Gave Up Sex As A Man In Hollywood'

Own Help Desk Devon Franklin
OWN

Beyoncé Had A Wardrobe Malfunction During Jay Z Performance

Beyonce
Kevin Mazur via Getty Images

TV Writer Explains Why 'Post-Racial' Is A 'Facade' In Scripted Television

Scandal Kerry Washington
ABC

What Sweeping Floors After His NFL Career Taught Terry Crews About Pride

Terry Crews
Kevin Winter via Getty Images

Why Denzel Washington May Be The Last Pure Movie Star

Denzel Washington
DyD Fotografos/Geisler-Fotopress/DPA

Roxanne Shante: Coming Clean, Saying Sorry, Being Thankful and Fighting Cancer

Comments (43)

Roxanne Shante: Coming Clean, Saying Sorry, Being Thankful and Fighting Cancer

In April, a New York Daily News article about how '80s rap music pioneer Roxanne Shante forced her record company to finance her college education (resulting in a degree from Marymount Manhattan College and a Ph.D. in psychology from Cornell University) tugged at the heart-strings of Hip Hop America. Soon after, a firestorm of controversy ensued when an article on Slate.com debunked the inspiring story.

Roxanne Shante (nee Lolita Shante Gooden) is widely recognized as the first female hip hop artist to break through the male dominated industry. At the age of 16, she became a household name with songs including 'Roxanne's Revenge' – an "answer" record responding to U.T.F.O.'s popular 'Roxanne, Roxanne.'

She offers Blackvoices.com some insight on the controversy and her very real life battle with breast cancer ... in her own words.


In March, I noticed a lump in my left breast, rather small at the time and didn't really know what I was feeling. So instead of going straight to the doctor's office, I started asking friends their opinion and trying to go by their experiences. It was such a stupid move. Well, I figured I was just getting older. A hysterectomy in my early thirties led me to believe that I would be fine. Another stupid move.

I let months go by – five months to be exact. The weight loss of over 40 pounds made me feel like, "Damn, this diet is finally working." But then I remembered I wasn't on a diet. So on a bright, sunny day in August 2009, I walked into Doshi center for a mammogram. I put on the gown and stepped up to the machine. As soon as the technician took my breast in her hand, she asked me how long had I had the lump. It's huge, she said. I made a joke, she giggled, but I was scared and angry that I had waited so long.

I was in denial. I even went so far as to ignore the letters sent by the lab that read: "Urgent!!! Please contact us."
I had gotten a call from the doctor, "I just received your images at my office and they have been trying to reach you for weeks. As soon as you get back to New York, you come to my office. This is your life."

I hung up, turned the phone off, walked out on the set and tried to pretend that the call never happen. But they did. And it showed on my face.

The doctors was a different story, however. This is how the week went. Headlines: 'No Ph.D. Roxanne's Revenge,' 'Where are you Roxanne?'

It was the '80s all over again, but this time not to spark a career but to end over 10 years of charities, pushing education and giving and helping people and not too mention 25 years of hip-hop. But that's nothing new. What about my children ? My 13-yea-old ? What if I die? So Tuesday another mamo, Wednesday ultrasound Thursday the bad news and then the surgery.

So I felt all eyes were on me to tell women how important it is for them to get checked. It is only by the grace of God that I have been able to survive. I have been blessed to not only have survived the pitfalls of an industry that has destroyed so many, but to also survive just the everyday struggles of surviving all the negative that has come my way .

Do I apologize? Yes, I do. But I am not asking for your forgiveness. I am sorry about a lot of things that I should've done differently. There were quite a few things that have been exposed with that article; the fact that I never received any royalties, the fact that I did go on to attend college (even if no Ph.D. was acquired), and the fact that at 14 years old and coming straight from the group home, I went on to create a career that even after 20 years of not making a hit record, was still pulling headlines.

My platform was only telling our young people to educate themselves before getting in this industry, and that your lawyer, accountant, manager and record company shouldn't all be under one roof or work together. No one ever told me that, so I felt the need to pass that along to our young people.

And now I have another testimony.

To be called Dr. Roxanne Shante was and is a privilege. But with that privilege comes pressure. I also had to live and talk like someone with a doctorate--not an easy task at all. I had to make sure that people felt healed and inspired after speaking with me.

And you know what? I accomplished that every time. But only with God's help.

So, yes, I apologize to all those who applied themselves and put in all the hard work that is required to acquire a Ph.D. I admire you all. But don't discredit all the hard work and sacrifices so many others have also done to also reach their goals.

I apologize again but I don't request your forgiveness, because I have already been forgiven by who matters: God. Sorry I can't hold my head down because my crown may fall off.

Life begins at 40.

Comments: (43)

Add a comment

Page 2 of 5

Add a Comment

Please keep your comments relevant to this blog entry. Email addresses are never displayed but they are required to confirm your comments. When you enter your name and email address, you'll be sent a link to confirm your comment, and a password. To leave another comment, just use that password."