BLACK VOICES

Bill Cosby sexually assaulted me. I didn't tell because I didn't want to let black America down.

In this Nov. 21, 2014 photo, comedian Bill Cosby performs during a show at the Maxwell C. King Center for the Performing Arts
In this Nov. 21, 2014 photo, comedian Bill Cosby performs during a show at the Maxwell C. King Center for the Performing Arts in Melbourne, Fla. Tamara Green filed a defamation lawsuit against Cosby Wednesday, Dec. 10, 2014, in federal court in Springfield, Mass. In the lawsuit she claims Cosby drugged and raped her in the 1970's when she was an aspiring model. Green first spoke publicly about the alleged rape in 2005. Cosby, who has a home in Shelburne Falls in western Massachusetts, is the lawsuit's only defendant. (AP Photo/Phelan M. Ebenhack)

Like many of the women who say they were assaulted by Bill Cosby, it took me two decades to gain the courage to reveal it publicly. His accusers – mostly white, so far – have faced retaliation, humiliation, and skepticism by coming forward. As an African-American woman, I felt the stakes for me were even higher. Historic images of black men being vilified en masse as sexually violent sent chills through my body. Telling my story wouldn’t only help bring down Cosby; I feared it would undermine the entire African-American community.

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