Roselyn Lionhart, What's Underneath
God is a Black Woman With a Good Sense of Humor
"I never felt like I was a second-class citizen, but sometimes I was being treated unfairly. Though I never felt I deserved it, you internalize it even so. That's the worst thing about prejudice: internalizing it and feeling that it's not them, it's you."

“My favorite thing about aging? That I'm still alive,” states Roselyn Lionhart, the musician and activist whose life has been filled with defying just about everything that society has handed her, having as much fun now as she did when she was 20. Wedding her husband David at a time when interracial marriage was still illegal in 25 states, she encountered countless incidents of prejudice, from being turned down for apartments while she was pregnant, to having a “good friend” not leave a restaurant with her when she was refused service because of her skin color. Speaking to the pain of internalizing persistent racism (“That's the worst thing about prejudice, feeling that it's not them, it's you”), Roselyn is still able to laugh off the worst intentions of others. She wears her radical politics on her sleeve in layers of Bernie buttons and thrifted confections that only she could pull off. Her and her husband’s activism throughout their lives have helped defeat housing discrimination in Michigan, and guaranteed freedom of speech for musicians in New Orleans, and their love for each other has endured for 58 years and counting. To witness Roselyn’s heroic positivity and fun-loving spirit, press play on the video above!

 

Add Roselyn on Facebook
Roselyn's episode was edited by Jenny Catherall
What's Underneath is produced by Elisa, Lily, & Mona
Thank you to Ace Hotel New Orleans for providing us with a location to film Roselyn’s episode!

Share this story
view more on youtube
Other Inspiration
What's Underneath
Dailies
What's Underneath
Closets