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Black women suffer, too — so why are they excluded?

espnW writer Katie Barnes explores the exclusion of women who are victims of police brutality

The past few weeks have seen tragic shootings, grief, anger, protests and calls to action. We speak about the victims often. We’ve said their names. We’ve written their names. We’ve honored their names. Yet, the lists of names oftentimes exclude female victims of crime.

Even the responses from supporters differ when victims of violence are women. An article published by The New York Times gives an example of a failed Black Lives Matter NYC rally in honor of Rekia Boyd, who was shot and killed by an off-duty Chicago police officer in 2012. What was supposed to spark a movement ended up only attracting between 50 and 100 attendees.

espnW writer Katie Barnes brings awareness to the fact that women are often forgotten not only in conversations about policing and black lives, but also lack support and acknowledgement from movements created to point out these disparities.

During the town hall with President Obama, only a few women spoke, and all in accessory capacities: mothers of police officers, girlfriend of someone slain by police or a mother of a protester in Baltimore. That’s not to say these women’s experiences don’t matter — of course they do — but women are more than accessories. Women participate actively in the movement and experience violence, which needs to be discussed as we search for peace and solutions as a nation.

This exclusion happens even as athletes respond to these cases of police brutality. When Carmelo Anthony, LeBron James, Chris Paul and Dwyane Wade opened the ESPYS with their call to action, they named a few of those killed by police in recent years. Rekia Boyd, Natasha McKenna, Janisha Fonville and Tanisha Anderson were not among those mentioned. When they called out activists, not a single black woman was acknowledged, nor were the efforts of WNBA teams who had already answered the call to recognize those killed.”

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Maya Jones is an associate editor at The Undefeated. She is a native New Orleanian who enjoys long walks down Frenchmen Street and romantic dates to Saints games.