What Happened to Sandra Bland?
That is the question that has been on our mind since her story went viral after she was arrested July 10 and found mysteriously dead in a Waller County, Texas jail cell. Bland was arrested for failure to signal when changing lanes, which can all be seen in a dashcam video. Officials and an autopsy report have ruled her tragic death as a suicide, however it is still under investigation.
Our thoughts and prayers are with the Bland family as they mourn the loss of their loved one. All too often many Black women die at the hands of those sworn to serve and protect but the media fails to acknowledge and share their stories. She was a college educated 20 something year old woman ready to begin a new chapter of the long life she had ahead of her. What she thought was a routine traffic stop, led to her demise. The fear many black women have now as they enter their vehicles surpass motor accidents; we as black women are now afraid more than ever to be pulled over. Merely speaking our mind can get us killed. We cannot neglect the racial climate of America mimicking that of the 1960’s in modern form, our black bodies are being dragged out of cars like animals, and shot down in broad daylight while the blue collar killers are on paid desk duty until it blows over.
Five Black women have died while in jail this month alone: Sandra Bland, Kindra Chapman, Raynetta Turner, Joyce Curnell, and Ralkina Jones. These are just a few names to add to the long list of tragedies. Black women’s stories often go untold in the media, stories of black women suffering from mental illness and unlawfully handled by law enforcement. If we don’t yell to the mountain tops #BlackWomenMatter, who will?