feature: #sayhername rally in ny (remembering the black women killed by police)

May 22, 2015

On Wednesday a vigil was held in Union Square (NYC) to remember the black women and girls killed by police in America – an event which has highlighted the gender-blindness of officers when it comes to police brutality. Family members of some of victims were present, such as those of Tanisha Anderson, Rekia Boyd, Miriam Carey, Michalle Cusseux (pictured). As reported by The Root, a new report (“Say Her Name: Resisting Police Brutality Against Black Women”) by the African American Policy Forum and the Center for Intersectionality & Social Policy Studies at Columbia University has shown that “the number of cases involving black women assaulted or killed by law-enforcement officers has increased”. However, as Kimberle Williams Crenshaw, director of the AAPF and co-author of the report, states: “Although Black women are routinely killed, raped and beaten by the police, their experiences are rarely foregrounded in popular understandings of police brutality”. She adds, “inclusion of Black women’s experiences in social movements, media narratives and policy demands around policing and police brutality is critical to effectively combating racialized state violence for Black communities and other communities of color.” With the growing online-support of the hashtag #SayHerName, this issue will hopefully remain in the spotlight. Check out footage from the rally below.

By Alexander Aplerku, AFROPUNK Contributor