Our controversial story on Genarlow Wilson, a young man who was convicted of child molestation at age 17, raised a myriad of issues of pressing importance to the Black community. As a result of Wilson's conviction, debates opened up surrounding the topics of both sexual consent for minors and harsh sentencing laws for Black men. For the past 66 years, Ebony has advocated for the well-being of all members of the African-American community, and has been at the forefront of these necessary conversations.
Your response to our story has further illuminated for us the importance of engaging around issues of sexual violence, of supporting victims, and of empowering our community with relevant knowledge and resources. We deeply regret that the perception of the article about Wilson (published on EBONY.com on July 9, 2012) led some readers to believe that we are less than sensitive to the plight of young women in sexual assault cases.
We want you to know that we are now, and have always been committed to confronting sexual assault in our community. At present we have many articles on our site that challenge America's rape culture. In addition, we are developing a three-part editorial series to educate Black America about these issues and to provide a platform for the powerful voices of women who have been affected by rape and sexual molestation. We encourage everyone to join this conversation.