They Marched for the ’51 Not Forgotten’ and All Other Black Women Murdered or Missing in Chicago | Fountain
She walked for her – that palpable trail of humanity and collective tears flowing down South King Drive, their chants rising in unison from here and falling into the hot summer air in remembrance of those black girls and women who are no longer able to speak for themselves.
Their voices rang out with a call for closure. For justice. For answers, and finally to put an end to the massacre of young black women and girls strangled, suffocated, shot or mutilated, their bodies thrown away like the garbage of yesterday.
They were talking. For those black girls and women who have been kidnapped or who have suddenly disappeared without a trace, like a vapor.
For the dead, they walked. For those whose innocent blood still cries premature graves.
They walked on purpose. For the recognition of the humanity of black women, despite the brutalities suffered amid the perpetual American disparity in the way their lives, deaths and disappearances are handled compared to white women in America, even to animals.
They were talking. And they walked – each step symbolizing their sincere hope that one day there would be no more need.
They marched and raised their voices for “Unforgotten 51”: For Nancie Walker. For Gwendolyn Williams. For Reo Renee Holyfield and also for other African-American women murdered or missing in Chicago.
The event, held Tuesday evening, was sponsored by a coalition of community groups including the Kenwood Oakwood Community Organization (KOCO), HER Chicago and Mothers Opposed to Violence Everywhere (MOVE). They also called for a policy change by law enforcement to âprevent more killingsâ.
The marchers advanced with solemnity and vigor, escorted by uniformed Chicago police officers on bicycles and in flashing blue police cars as they headed south for blocks along King Drive from 35e Street.
Some of the more than 100 estimated marchers carried signs or banners. Many wore white t-shirts emblazoned with the emblem of a young woman wearing afro twin puffs and the words “We Walk for Her IV” in honor of the fourth annual walk. Aziah Roberts, a young KOCO leader, then 13, initiated the march in 2018.
In her opinion, nothing was being done about the missing or murdered black girls and women. As a black girl, she wanted to do something. So she did.
This week, protesters echoed every line from a loudspeaker as young black women led the way. Many young blacks also participated. Among the main messages of the walk: âHis life countsâ.
âThe war on missing girls, especially black women and children, has plagued communities and cities for years,â said Tanisha Williams, a KOCO youth organizer, speaking to the media moments before the start. a walk.
âAs a mother, I couldn’t imagine the nightmare that comes with the lack of investment, lack of accountability and worry of the CPD, elected officials and the mayor of our great city of Chicago. I couldn’t imagine having to fight for the closure of one of my relativesâ¦ â
I have heard the devastating stories, not only as a journalist for over 30 years, but more recently as I got my students at Roosevelt University to cover the cases of 51 women, mostly African-American, murdered in Chicago. since 2001.
Indeed, I saw the tears. I have heard the unforgettable cries of families for justice and peace. I have witnessed their calls for the police to find the killers in now icy and unresolved cases. I felt their anguish at the disparity in media coverage of the murder and disappearance of black women and girls.
And I can’t think of any more noble step.
Until there was no more need, for this whole damn town to work for her.
To learn more about the Unforgotten project, visit: https://www.unforgotten51.com
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