Voices in the Crowd, Black Women in Reaction to the Breonna Taylor Decision

Sometimes I wonder if people are really listening. Even if you don’t agree, please take the time to read/listen to the voices of these Black women in reaction to the Breonna Taylor decision yesterday. It’s important.:

“Sept 23 1955 – Emmett Till’s murderers are acquitted, September 23, 2020 – Breonna Taylor’s murderers are acquitted”
Viola Davis

“I had to cry today. Like so many days this year. My heart hurts for Breonna and her family. I’m sad for all my Black brothers and sisters. To live everyday with such anxiety and fear is not our purpose, yet here we are. I feel helpless. I will VOTE and continue to use my voice, writing and platform to uplift my people. But what I fear is that it won’t be enough.”
Julee Wilson

“I know many of us are confused and frustrated and broken hearted and angry and we have every right to be. But all of us have heard the news of Breonna Taylor in the offices today. And many of us feel like her life was in vain, like all of the protest and everything has been vain. And the song that keeps coming into my head is “Is my living in vain, is our prayers in vain, are we wasting our time” but the Word says “no”, of course not, it’s not all in vain” it ain’t all in vain. I know that it feels like it because it is frustrating, but it is not all in vain.

I truly believe with everything in me that before our loved ones who passed on, our Breonna Taylor, our George Floyds, more names than we can call out, before they came here on earth they agreed to this mission because they knew it would start the movement, they agreed on it and that’s what it has done. It has created a movement and it is not done. We are all in this together but a movement only happens with movement so this is not the time to stop, this is not the time to shut down, this is not the time to forget, this is the time to continue to move forward, okay? It’s frustrating but it’s not in vain.

I pray our movement, our protests, our love, our support, our fallen loved ones, has not been in vain it’s been for the movement. That every person in the world that we should be treated equally, that we should all receive justice when we’ve been wronged, right? I’ve heard it a million times all lives matter and Lord knows I look forward to the day that that is a true statement and it rings true because the proof is in the pudding, it rings true because the justice system always works for everybody, it favors everyone the same. I look forward to that day and I do believe that that day can come but it didn’t come today. Will it come tomorrow, maybe not but the movement is here and we must continue to move forward in the smartest of ways. I know you are frustrated and are tired but it has not all been in vain. And while we are here make sure you register to vote, let us do that, and do everything we can.”
Tabitha Brown

“We just continue to toss all our worst traumas down the ladder of privilege so Black women, Black CIS women, Black Trans women, we expect Black women to lift everybody up and that is exactly what Breonna did. She decided to be an EMT because she wanted to save lives and she was an essential worker during a pandemic and a crisis that was decimating our community and in return the local police pumped bullets into her sleeping body.”
Brittany Packnett Cunningham

“Our spirits, I promise you, are bigger than the systems we face; and I promise you our purpose is greater than the oppression that tries to grab hold of us. Those systems, they may have stolen Breonna’s life but they will never steal her light. That oppression may have taken her life but it will never steal her legacy because we will fight for that.”
Brittany Packnett Cunningham

“If we thought the problem and the solution to the tragedy of Breonna Taylor was simply prosecuting these cops, then we’re not understanding the broader systemic conditions that allow for the kind of policing that disproportionally imperils Black Americans…”
Kimberle Crenshaw

“The problem with racism is not that people know it exists and are being trained on how to do better. The problem with racism is racism. And today, tragically, makes that all the more clear.”
Kimberle Crenshaw

“The same systems responsible for our oppression cannot be the same systems responsible for our justice.”
Derecka Purnell

“Again, the entire legal system of the US is showing itself to be a farce that has everything to do with preserving power dynamics and nothing to do with justice.”
Bree Newsome Bass

“What is this picking out a few Black people like needles in a haystack, just to prove a point, when, at the same time, Black people are routinely lynched and millions do not feel safe? It’s abhorrent. Of course, arguing safety under any presidency may be a false net,  but considering whole communities, what is the purpose of these needles? What is the purpose when the whole haystack is blowing in the wind? We shouldn’t be singularly focused–there’s too much on the line. We shouldn’t pick out one person and hold them as the standard–we need picture ideas the save the masses.”
-LaTonya Yvette

“Black women deserve better.”
– Nikisha Riley

“Offensive. Egregious. Unacceptable.”
Garcelle Beauvais

“EMOTIONAL … I’m exhausted. The past 6 months have been a true test in almost every way imaginable. Yesterday’s verdict took me there. I cried. My heart is heavy. I am sending love and light to Breonna’s family. I am just sad. The daily anxiety and fear that we as Black people live with is real. It’s not anxiety about taking a test. It’s not anxiety about fitting in. It’s anxiety that centers around very real questions like will I be safe in my home? Will my husband be safe driving on a back country road by himself late at night? I remember my mom turning on gospel music when she felt weary from carrying the weight of the world on her shoulders trying to protect her two young daughters from the reality of the world we live in and praying her husband would make it home safely that night. I was too young to understand it at the time, this is my adult self reflecting back on those instances. ⁣ My mother is a very strong and resilient woman; these occurrence weren’t often, but perhaps that’s why they left a lasting impression. Last night, I understood. I let the tears flow as I listened to “I Don’t Feel No Ways Tired.”⁣

I am down right now, but I won’t stop fighting. I am going to VOTE and use my voice and my platform to inform, educate and uplift. We matter too much and we’ve come too far. I see YOU sis. I got your back.”⠀
Kalyn Johnson

Art by Nikisha Riley

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