NEWSFLASH: Activists Stage #BlackWomenMatter Marches

Baltimore Chief Prosecutor Marilyn Mosby charged six officers today in the death of Freddie Gray, a 25-year-old African American man who died last month from a spinal cord injury while in police custody. But while justice may be served in Gray’s case, activists are raising awareness about another group who experience police brutality but rarely receive media attention, let alone attention from the courts—African American women.

Using the hashtag #BlackWomenMatter and taking to the streets in Washington, D.C. and other U.S. cities, organizers have staged rallies and marches to bring attention to the deaths of Rekia Boyd, Aiyana Stanley-Jones, Natasha McKenna and countless other Black women and girls killed by police.

The Cut reported that “women account for 20 percent of unarmed people of color killed by the police between 1999 and 2014,” and according to the Black Liberation Project, 15 Black women have been killed by police in the last 18 months. Yet few of them have received the same attention as Michael Brown, Eric Garner, Trayvon Martin or Freddie Gray.

On Twitter, user D. Sawyuh explained, “#BlackWomenMatter was started to HIGHLIGHT that BW [Black women] are not receiving the same attention as BM [Black men] are. #BlackLivesMatter turned into BMmatter.”

Take a look at photos from some of the marches below:

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Opening photo via Twitter user @spokenELLE



Stephanie hails from Toronto, Canada. She is a Ms. writer, a master of journalism candidate and a hip hop dancer/instructor/choreographer. She got her start in feminist journalism at the age of 16 when she was a member of the first editorial collective at Shameless magazine—and she has never looked back.