Mothers of the Movement: Solidarity for Black Lives Matter
By Yanick Rice Lamb
No mother wants to leave this earth before her child. And sudden, violent deaths —especially through encounters with those who have pledged to protect and serve the public — can be particularly painful.
That’s why the mothers of everyone from Trayvon Martin to Jordan Davis have been pushing through their grief to support other parents and let the world know that #BlackLivesMatter.
A group now known as “Mothers of the Movement” even took to the stage dressed in black to share their message in July at the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia, where they were received with thunderous applause in an extended standing ovation.
“One year ago yesterday, I lived the worst nightmare anyone could imagine,” Geneva Reed-Veal told the crowd. “I watched as my daughter, Sandra Bland, was lowered into the ground in a coffin.” Bland died in a jail cell in Texas after being arrested in a traffic stop three days earlier.
Jordan Davis’ mother, Lucia McBath, said that “his life ended the day he was shot and killed for playing loud music, but my life as his mother didn’t.”
“I still wake up everyday thinking about how to parent him, how to protect him and his legacy, how to ensure that his death doesn’t overshadow his life.”
Although they were all suddenly thrust into the spotlight, the women encourage other parents to get up and use their voices. “No more silence,” Reed-Veal said, until the violence subsides and families receive what she calls God’s justice or the world’s justice.
Her family recently reached a $1.9 million settlement in a wrongful death suit against Waller County and the Texas Department of Public Safety.
“It’s a personal loss,” Reed-Veal said of her daughter’s death. “It’s a national loss. It’s a loss that diminishes all of us.”
Mothers of the Movement: Others pictured above include Gwen Carr, mother of Eric Garner; Sybrina Fulton, mother of Trayvon Martin; Maria Hamilton, mother of Dontré Hamilton; Lezley McSpadden, mother of Michael Brown; and Cleopatra Pendleton-Cowley, mother of Hadiya Pendleton.