Three black women started the hashtag #BlackLivesMatter, yet the American conversation about police brutality against black people has mostly been a conversation about police brutality against black men.
And while the most high-profile police brutality cases recently — Freddie Gray, Walter Scott, Eric Garner and Tamir Rice — involved black men, many black women have died at the hands of police, too.
“There are so many names that we don’t hear, and a lot of those names tend to be women and girls,” Treva Lindsey, an Ohio State University professor who specializes in black feminist theory, told Mashable.
But things may be changing.
Last week, the hashtag #SayHerName took off on Twitter. The campaign was designed by the African American Policy Forum to raise awareness about cases of police violence against women, and it has racked up more than 135,000 tweets as of Tuesday. Many of those tweets included the names of women killed by police who haven’t received the same attention as Garner, Scott, Gray and other black men.
Pearlie Golden was one. She was a 93-year-old black woman holding a gun when a white police officer in Texas shot her to death last year. The officer was fired, though a grand jury chose not to indict him.
Yvette Smith is another. She was standing near the door of her home after someone in the house called the police. Two men were allegedly fighting over money. An officer told her to come out of the house and, when she did, he killed her. The officer was fired and indicted for murder.
Tanisha Anderson, a schizophrenic black woman, is a third. She, like Freddie Gray, died after losing consciousness in police custody. Her death was ruled a homicide.
SOURCE: Colin Daileda