feature: “what about the grief of mothers of slain daughters?”

January 30, 2015

Following the fatal shooting of Mike Brown and the concurring events, most are now aware of the failings of the U.S. justice system and its incessant maltreatment of black men. However, this spotlight (in particular the attention of the media) seems to have bypassed black women, countless cases of women murdered by police ignored in media coverage – in case mass media didn’t know, Police kill black women all the time too. For Harriet recently wrote a piece on the subject, titled ‘What About the Grief of Mothers of Slain Daughters?’. Check out an excerpt, below; and read the entire piece here.

By Alexander Aplerku, AFROPUNK Contributor

There have been urgent calls for the recognition of black humanity as well as an outpouring of profound sympathy for the mothers and families of those slain men. One wonders whether this amounts to an added layer of trauma for the mothers of murdered black daughters whose deaths don’t rate high enough for the nation’s outrage or the black community’s collective mourning.

Few seem to care about the mother of Aiyana Stanley-Jones (pictured above), the 7-year-old Detroiter killed by white officer Joseph Weekley during a botched police raid on her home. So far attempts to punish Weekley have stalled. Meanwhile, the deceased’s father has been sentenced to 40 years in prison on a murder charge. News footage of Charles Jones’ sentencing shows Lyvonne Cargill, the mother of Je’Rean Blake, 17, reading a statement to the court about her suffering and loss. Even in the brief clip, her grief is palpable.

But the pain of Dominika Stanley over the senseless loss of her baby girl, Aiyana, is also unimaginable. Hard to suffer, too, is the crushing weight of isolation and alienation as the world responds to tragedies like that of Trayvon Martin, Michael Brown Jr., and Eric Garner to the exclusion of the loss of black women’s and girls’ lives