#SayHerName Gives Voice to Black Women Victimized by Police

I’ve covered police brutality on this site before, but usually, it’s in the form of black men being victims of the police. This time, I’m focusing on black women who have been victims of police brutality.

#SayHerName is a hashtag and movement that has taken over San Francisco and the rest of America (if not the world). The movement aims to shed light on the large number of black girls and women who have been killed at the hands of police. The movement was created due to the fact that even though black women are often targets of police brutality just like black men, the men usually get more coverage than women.

Some would say this reflects a larger problem between black women and black men and black women and society; there’s a series of micro-aggressions black have to face on a daily basis, such as being told by some black men (and society at large) that they are too loud, always angry, that their hair is too nappy, that certain shades of lipstick isn’t for them, that white women make better wives, etc.

This small list isn’t even including how exoticized black bodies are in society, with women wanting black body parts, such as big butts, full lips, and curly hair, yet denying the women who exhibit the beauty they attempt to portray (my full feelings on big butts can be exemplified in this article). Or, they’re exoticized with men expecting only sexual gratification from black women, seeing them as only sexual objects and not “wife material.”

The Twitter component of #SayHerName highlights many of the victims, including pictures of them in happier times, which serves to humanize them and hopefully, make people not aware of these issues see these victims as human beings whose lives were cut short through horrific circumstances.

The physical portion of the movement can be seen in female protesters, many topless, showing that black women aren’t meant to be commodities to be thrown aside when they aren’t deemed useful anymore. The protesters are making the point that our bodies and our lives deserve more respect and should be given the same humanity others lives are.

I feel touched by this movement, and I hope everyone who views it takes something positive away from it. What do you think about #SayHerName? Give your opinions below the post!

EDIT: Here’s the African American Policy Forum’s report on police brutality against black women. There’s also a post written for Black Girl Dangerous outlining what can be done to support trans women of color.