Black Mothers Speak Out
By Ann Guthrie Hingston
While a Black death at the hands of police is the subject of national outrage, the numerous Black deaths that occur every day in our communities are ignored. The victims are often children, and their mothers are seldom given a platform to voice their opinions.
A group called “Voices of Black Mothers United” has formed to amplify the voices of Black mothers of fallen children and to work toward healing and strengthening communities to create safe environments for all. They held a media conference on January 29 to announce the national movement.
“We see so many times on television that when a Black person is killed by a white person or a police officer, there is so much support,” Carolyn Johnson Turner said. “But when it’s us [other blacks], … they are telling us to ‘be quiet, get over it,’ to ‘just deal with it.’ But it’s hard. It hurts.” Turner is the Alabama state leader for Voices of Black Mothers United whose son was fatally shot at the age of 20 as he parked his car at a birthday party.
Formed in partnership with the Woodson Center, some 25,000 mothers have joined the group to push back against the “Defund the Police” movement and “bring together law enforcement and community partners to support solutions to senseless violence with community-based intervention and sensible police reform.” Robert Woodson, a Maryland resident, pointed out that 80% of black people want police to spend the same amount of or more time in their community. Those calling for defunding the police do not live in the neighborhoods that are most in need of law enforcement and the Defund the Police movement is not reflective of the desires of much of the Black community.
Through local chapters, the Black mothers will engage in activities to bring healing to families who have suffered loss, promote positive policing, and work to prevent further violence. So far, the program has eight chapters across the country—in New York, Alabama, Indiana, Pennsylvania, the D.C.-Maryland-Virginia area, South Carolina, North Carolina, and Georgia.
This initiative is seeking to persuade private donors, foundations, and the government to invest in communities where the problems exist. More information is available at: www.voicesofblackmothers.com
Ann Guthrie Hingston is a member of the Montgomery County Republican Central Committee