Lessette Kornegay Addresses Domestic Violence & Wise Views
According to statistics:
■Every 9 seconds in the US a woman is assaulted or beaten.
■Around the world, at least one in every three women has been beaten, coerced into sex or otherwise abused during her lifetime. Most often, the abuser is a member of her own family.
■Domestic violence is the leading cause of injury to women—more than car accidents, muggings, and rapes combined.
■Studies suggest that up to 10 million children witness some form of domestic violence annually.
Making guest appearances on a number of broadcasts, events and shows, charismatic recording artist, Lessette Kornegay heals and inspires victims of domestic violence through her voice. “The ultimate goal that I want to accomplish with my music is I want God to use me to bring healing to people through song. I want to encourage them I want to lift them up… If anybody is hurting it does not matter where they are or who they are I want their souls to be soothed,” shares Kornegay.
Her music is a unique combination of Jazz, Country and Contemporary Gospel – fit for a wide array of audiences. It is no wonder that people that can barely afford to pay their rent, would rather spend their money on her CD entitled, After The Storm.
As an opening act for the likes of Vickie Winans, Twinkie Clark and a host of others, Kornegay is no foreigner to music. Raised in Kinston, North Carolina and the youngest of 6 children, she followed in her father’s musical footsteps. Having experienced many hardships, a previous relationship taught her valuable lessons and she talks to others about this through song.
“I did not plan for us ever to break up or to ever get a divorce or any of those things. A lot of times when you get married you think it is going to be forever, but…things did not go as planned,” she says of her first love and husband.
“I know men get abused too, I want both men and women to know that it is a cycle, it kind of reminds me of Tina Turner. For years she suffered through this and so did I; I loved him more than I did me; more than I loved God. He was a Minister also, so there was a lot of psychological stuff that occurred. Minister’s aren’t supposed to do this; they aren’t supposed to treat you like this, but yet he did.”
Domestic violence is very much so prevalent in many homes throughout the world. Some people find the courage to escape while others are not as fortunate, even to death.
“Hurting people hurt people…I was a Navy wife. I loved him even when he did not love me. Even through the cheating and the women. He was cheating on me and beating me. He would put me on the shelf and he would go out and have his affair and he would come back home…his abusive words, ‘you ain’t nobody, you’re never going to be anybody’. I took all of that. I took his breaking my pictures and throwing them in the trash can. I would go in the trash can and get them (pictures of us as a couple). He would put his fist through the wall and make a hole in the wall; being pregnant and he would run my head in the wall, but he didn’t know how to appreciate my love, but I didn’t love me.”
Her advice on the subject is clear and simple:
“I know you may love but you can still be somebody. I was afraid that I could not stand on my own two feet, I felt like I needed him. The Lord let me know that as long as I got Him, I can make it and that I’m not a ‘nobody’; that I have a purpose and I am somebody special.”
She forgave him and refused to say negative things about him in front of their son. In her song Silent Tears, she thinks of those who are where she once was, “You can love somebody and they not love you.”
In addition to her impeccable voice, Kornegay is gifted in yet another area – painting. “When I’m painting I see art differently than some people. I can look at something old and ugly…for instance an old house, “run down, broken windows, the porch all caved in. I see it as art.” She recently painted a house of this nature and submitted it to a gallery for a show. The name of the picture is called, “The Awakening”.“There is beauty is all around you; art is all around you, even things that look wilted and run down, it has a beauty about it. I love to put Godly messages in my paintings, not necessarily ‘bold’ messages”.“Even when you feel something in your life is dead, God can breathe life back into it; whatever that situation is he put the skin back on it. Painting is a way for me to express family, scriptures and the love of art and being able to depict in my paintings. Just because something is broke down or it looks raggedy and old that that does not mean there is no value to it.”
Her paintings have been featured in various newspapers, art galleries and shows. “I’ve painted an elderly woman’s face that was very wrinkled; it was featured in the newspaper. I love wrinkles, the person has character; I don’t want to paint anything all nice and pretty. I like the old stuff. I like the old stuff because it shows that it has been through something but yet it is still standing and I admire that.”