Who cries when a Black woman dies? That is what I am wondering this morning as the silence on my social media timeline provides the answer for the rhetorical question. National movements have been launched and catalyzed by the death of (Black)men and yet the same folks shutting.it.down for the hashtag death fraternity of Black(men) remain silent when Korryn Gaines is murdered. So what gives?
The silence is because when a Black woman dies Black women cry. So the silence is the absences of our voices because we are the ones doing the work. WE are ones who shut.it.down. for Alton and Trayvon and Mike. WE are the ones on the front lines of disruption--- forever calling out the need to dismantle this system that criminalized Black folks. So when the gut punch of another trans or femme Black woman slain hits the media, no one speaks because Black women are still trying to catch our breath. Where are the cis men calling for justice? Where are the folks screaming for Korryn Gaines? We lack engagement in part from fatigue of loss and suffering and part confirmation of the status quo; we uphold misogynoir when we remain silent for Korryn Gaines and yet weep and kick up dust for Alton Sterling. We are taught to believe that men (both white and Black) are central to our needs. I believe we shy away from centering ourselves as the most important people to fight for because we have internalized the hate the rest of the world holds for Black women. So how do we get free?
Listen to me. It is time we unlearn what we've been taught. Stop waiting for men to show up for us!
Black women it is time that we CENTER ourselves
#SayHerName and free us all