Korryn Gaines. Please Say Her Name.

I’m going back to writing again. I promised I’d write in order to heal my soul and shed light on things that need truth and space so I’m going to do it. Here.

I’m going to start with where my heart is breaking the most right now and that is the murder of Korryn Gaines.

Maybe it’s because I’m also a 23 year old black woman. Maybe it’s because I watched her beautiful internet presence and watched her recite magical poetry and watched her son speak on her behalf. Maybe it’s because celebrities donate for black men who have been killed and make go fund me pages and take to the streets for unarmed black men and hell black women take to the streets for unarmed black men but this one, we whisper about her in the shadows we look away awkwardly because she doesn’t seem “innocent”. What is innocence? Is it not protecting your family when a SWAT team bursts in your home? Is it having a clean record with no forms of parking tickets or activism? What is it? Can we as black women ever be seen as innocent? Is our humanity already sullied by white supremacy so much that we victim blame and shame each other for existing?

I look at her Instagram and Facebook and I see myself. I feel sick. My stomach turns. I didn’t even cry this time. I just internally screamed. Are you screaming too? Do you see a guilty human and just dismiss her? Do you want more facts about what happened and think she deserved to die? What is innocence people? Why is her life less important because of words that had been said in order to dismiss her existence? I will continue to say her name even if you don’t. I think every name deserves to be said. Hopefully challenge your own thinking and say hers too. Even if it comes out as a whisper because you’re afraid your friends will think you’re too radical. Say her name. Korryn Gaines. Say it again and again and again and love her for who she is and see yourself in her, as you have seen yourself in Alton Sterling, and countless other names.

Peace and Love