Who Will Revere Us? (Black LGTBQ People, Straight Women, and Girls)

Who Will Revere Us? (Black LGTBQ People, Straight Women, and Girls)

In part 1 of a powerful series for the Feminist Wire,Aishah Shahidah Simmons asks when the Black community will stand up for its LGBT folks and women

Aishah Shahidah Simmons

by Aishah Shahidah Simmons, April 24, 2012

Who Will Revere Us? (Black LGTBQ People, Straight Women, and Girls)

consider our responses to issues that affect many as opposed to those issues affecting some of us based on our gender, gender identity, and/or sexuality.

Jena 6” and the “New Jersey 4

We can look at the profoundly powerful and most appropriate national response in support of the “Jena 6” who, at the time, were six African-American high school students (Mychal Bell, Robert Bailey Jr., Carwin Jones, Bryant Purvis, Theo Shaw and Jesse Ray Beard). Originally, they were unjustly charged as adults with attempted second-degree murder and conspiracy counts for assaulting a white student (Justin Barker) in Jena Louisiana. The fight resulted from building racial tensions, which included three nooses hanging from a tree. In September 2007, in response to the charges, a virtual and on the ground mass mobilization resulted in a national protest led by Rev. Al Sharpton, Congresswoman Maxine Waters, radio personality Michael Baisden, and the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, where thousands of protesters marched on Jena to demand justice and challenge the racism in the Jena, Louisiana criminal (in)justice system. The teens were facing a combined sentence of 100 years and were clearly being railroaded from school into the prison pipeline.  In addition, there were songs created by hip-hop and rock artists, numerous editorials and stories in the mainstream and alternative media, as well as congressional hearings.


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