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Why We Can’t Keep Forgetting Black Women Are Being Harmed By Police Violence Too

Korryn Gaines is another stark reminder.

By Natelegé Whaley

In May 2015, a group of Black women stood topless in San Francisco traffic. They held up signs reading names of Black women and girls who were victims of police-involved incidents.

Rekia Boyd. Shantel Davis. Shelley Frey. Kayla Moore. Kyam Livingston. Miriam Carely. Michelle Cusseaux. Tanisha Anderson.

#SayHerName.

Demonstrators rallied to chant those three affirming words in Chicago, Washington, D.C., New Orleans and New York City, as well.

The deaths of Michael Brown, Eric Garner and Freddie Gray, led to the mobilization of thousands around the world against police violence on Black people. Yet the women above who had similar fates were unknown to much of the masses. Did their Black human female lives not matter enough to be marched for too?

Again in July 2015, a video surfaced of a Waller County, Texas, police officer using excessive force to arrest a 28-year-old Black woman named Sandra Bland. She died in police custody with authorities ruling it suicide. The footage went viral and her name became a trending topic on social media. Unfortunately, it was her death that catapulted the #SayHerName movement and began to shift the narrative that Black women and girls, not just men and boys, are also vulnerable to police violence in America. Caring should not have begun with Sandra, but it definitely shouldn’t end with her either.

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