A 16-year old woman of color received what female slaves may have if they refused their master's sexual advances: death sentences at worst, and more tortured lives at best.
No matter what I have learned from her brother Bill Genovese's heart-wrenching push for the truth, I still can not extinguish the feeling of seeing myself in Kitty Genovese: young, happy, independent, innocent, moving toward the future, and fated to be a woman living alone in American big cities.
The women I want the world to start remembering forever are pictured here. Please click on their photos for more information about their lives and stories, as well as ongoing activism in their memories for this remainder of Black History Month. #SayHerName
One way to move this tragedy and the deceased in it past public ephemera and into history is to forever connect the loss of their lives to a national symbolic act against domestic terrorism: the legally-mandated abolition of our Confederate flag, and civil prosecution of anyone who waves it.
Racial profiling does not discriminate by gender...it's time to tell our black girls the police may not be working for them.
Read my story "What Billie and Phyllis Sang About", about an abandoned black woman left to survive alone in Harlem, in the new issue of Atticus Review. My favorite Billie Holiday and Phyllis Hyman music is on the story's companion soundtrack Here. #BillieandPhyllis
In this National Blog Posting Month, I decided to pick my favorite or most important work so far on my blog negression. My eulogy of a total stranger, Joyce Vincent, remains the most personal piece of writing I have ever done publicly for the sheer emotional response I had to her story’s resonance in my life at the point when I wrote it. I think this chilling black female version of a “Sex in the City” tale will always stick out to me and beg attention. It is something I wish I had never had to write, because that means it would have never happened. But since I did have to write it, it was a privilege to learn about myself and my life and what I need to do for myself and for others through the pain of another who was unable to.
Watch a documentary about Joyce Vincent’s life, Dreams of a Life.
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There is a defining 21st Century Western World story about a Black female Londonder who passed away in her government-subsidized bedsit/SRO flat in 2003, as she wrapped Christmas presents and wrote Christmas cards—and she remained in there, seated on her couch, putrefying in her death, finally skeletizing, for the next three years. In 2006, a government agency kicked in the door to collect rent. Local officials concluded she had been there for at least three years based upon expiration dates of food in the refrigerator, the last known paid rent check, and the earliest postmark on unopened mail. The woman was 38 years-old when she died at home in her living room.
During the entire time she sat on her living room couch in front of Christmas gifts and cards, her living room television remained on and audible in the apartment hallways. For…
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