“The most disrespected person in America is the black woman. The most unprotected person in America is the black woman. The most neglected person in America is the black woman.” Unfortunately, Malcolm X’s infamous quote still is so prevalent today. If one looks at global culture, it is not uncommon to see Black women verbally insulted, physically assaulted, and neglected. In recent R. Kelly’s sexual assault cases, we witnessed black women recalling their abusive experiences with the R&B star in the documentary “Surviving R. Kelly.” Speculations that R. Kelly was left to continue his vicious abuse on these children and women were because they were Black. Black women tend to be forgotten as victims easily, and this must stop.
Sandra Bland, Atatiana Jefferson, Tanisha Anderson, Yvette Smith, and Breonna Taylor are all Black women who were mysteriously killed or died in the hands of police. Some names might be familiar; some may not be familiar, but their lives mattered, and we celebrate them. Breonna Taylor, a Louisville EMT and aspiring registered nurse, was killed by police in her sleep while they were executing a no-nock warrant. In a way, I am glad she was asleep and hopefully did not feel the pain of 8 bullets penetrating her body. Her tragic story hit incredibly deep for me because she was aspiring to enter the career that I have loved for the last 13 years.
Breonna dedicated her short life to the Louisville residents by serving as a first responder amid the current COVID 19 pandemic. But yet, the people whose role is to protect and serve her, ended her life. Where is the public outrage and protests for Breonna? Why is it her story and other Black women forgotten in the current national discourse about police violence against Black people? As we celebrate what would have been Breonna’s 27th birthday today, let us never forget the numerous Black women that die at the hands of the police. Black women deserve to be treated with more respect and dignity, especially since they are usually the allies of ALL people’s struggle.
Dr. Irene Obika is co-founder/CEO of www.afrinanny.com, the only marketplace that specializes in helping families of Black children locate culturally relevant childcare. She is a practicing Family & Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner in Texas.