say her name: Breonna Taylor

The 2020 WNBA season consists of twelve teams living and playing together since July in the IMG Academy in Bradenton, Florida for a shortened 22-game schedule followed by the traditional playoff series that began on September 15th. The bizarre season is notable not only for its Covid restrictions regarding players and personnel living in the Bradenton Bubble without any fan support during their games but also is notable for the players’ dedication of their season to Breonna Taylor, a black woman who was killed in a raid on her apartment in Louisville, Kentucky  March 13th. All the  players have worn Say Her Name Breonna Taylor uniforms in every game, had observations of silence to honor her memory before games, been vocal as a players’ association about police brutality in the systemic racism exemplified by the treatment of black women everywhere.

Two days ago, a Louisville grand jury failed to indict any of the officers for criminal behavior resulting in the death of Ms. Taylor who was shot five times and received no medical attention for more than 20 minutes after she was struck according to reporting by the NY Times yesterday.

Prior to last night’s playoff game between the Minnesota Lynx and the Seattle Storm, Lynx player Napheesa Collier read the following statement on behalf of all the players in the league (Jasmine Thomas of the Connecticut Sun read the same statement before their game against the Las Vegas Aces):

“Our hearts are with Ms. Tamika Palmer. It has been 195 days since her daughter, Breonna Taylor, was killed. One-hundred and 95 days and still today, no one was charged for her death. We strongly support the sentiment expressed by the family of Breonna Taylor. The result is outrageous and offensive. No one needs to live in the commonwealth of Kentucky to understand this case. We won’t stop pressing for full transparency and full and complete justice. There are far too many questions left unanswered.

“Justice is on the ballot. Please register today and vote on or before Nov. 3.”

In another voice with a different platform Oprah Magazine explained the remarkable cover of Breonna Taylor for their September, 2020 issue as follows: “For the first time in 20 years, @oprah has given up her O Magazine cover to honor Breonna Taylor. She says, Breonna Taylor. She was just like you. And like everyone who dies unexpectedly, she had plans. Plans for a future filled with responsibility and work and friends and laughter. Imagine if three unidentified men burst into your home while you were sleeping. And your partner fired a gun to protect you. And then mayhem. What I know for sure: We can’t be silent. We have to use whatever megaphone we have to cry for justice. And that is why Breonna Taylor is on the cover of O magazine. I cry for justice in her name…”

Congressman John Lewis issued a moral imperative for all of us. When we see something is not right, not fair, not just – we have a moral obligation to do something about it. I salute the courage of the players in the WNBA for doing something about the death of Breonna Taylor in their 2020 season, and I thank Oprah for the empathy she has for the family of Breonna Taylor in their unspeakable loss.

Adding our voices to cry for justice in the name of Breonna Taylor – we are no longer lone voices crying in the wilderness of separation and fear. Together we stand for Breonna Taylor, her family, for justice.

Say Her Name: Breonna Taylor and plan your vote for November 3rd.

Stay safe, stay sane and stay tuned.

About Sheila Morris

Sheila Morris is a personal historian, essayist with humorist tendencies, lesbian activist, truth seeker and speaker in the tradition of other female Texas storytellers including her paternal grandmother. In December, 2017, the University of South Carolina Press published her collection of first-person accounts of a few of the people primarily responsible for the development of LGBTQ organizations in South Carolina. Southern Perspectives on the Queer Movement: Committed to Home will resonate with everyone interested in LGBTQ history in the South during the tumultuous times from the AIDS pandemic to marriage equality. She has published five nonfiction books including two memoirs, an essay compilation and two collections of her favorite blogs from I'll Call It Like I See It. Her first book, Deep in the Heart: A Memoir of Love and Longing received a Golden Crown Literary Society Award in 2008. Her writings have been included in various anthologies - most recently the 2017 Saints and Sinners Literary Magazine. Her latest book, Four Ticket Ride, was released in January, 2019. She is a displaced Texan living in South Carolina with her wife Teresa Williams and their dogs Spike, Charly and Carl. She is also Naynay to her two granddaughters Ella and Molly James who light up her life for real. Born in rural Grimes County, Texas in 1946 her Texas roots still run wide and deep.
This entry was posted in family life, Lesbian Literary, Life, Personal, politics, racism, Reflections, sexism, Slice of Life, sports, The Way Life Is, The Way Life Should Be and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

8 Responses to say her name: Breonna Taylor

  1. Bob Slatten says:

    It boggles the mind, infuriates the soul, that NO ONE is being held accountable for Breonna Taylor’s murder while charging a police officer for shooting AT white people.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Wayside Artist says:

    Vote. Vote. Vote.
    And if that doesn’t work – into the streets. All of us. March.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Wayside Artist says:

    We march for your granddaughter and all the youngsters. We are Ruthless.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Wayside Artist says:

    Sheila, I feel unmoored without our justice.
    Give the birthday girl an extra hug from me. The little ones give me a reason to keep fighting for this country.

    Liked by 1 person

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