Just days after returning to the U.S. a story broke an hour south of where I was living in Florida, involving a naked man eating the face off another in a shocking attack of cannibalism like The Walking Dead come to life. Toto, I don't think I'm in Europe anymore.
No one can deny black men's vulnerability in this society and the recent killings of Walter Scott and Eric Harris are painful reminders, but the fact is black women suffer the same injustices. Silence in mainstream and black America is the only reason why it isn't widely acknowledged.
The relative victory of Marissa is that she is the one who lived. And she lives precisely because she knew her life mattered. Even if no one else believed it to be so.
Connecting community violence to the movement for accountability for police brutality would help call attention to the disproportionate violence experienced by all kinds of black women, and girls and it would also create a space to more closely interrogate the detrimental aspects of police abdication on black communities.
For change to happen, we must focus our resources on mechanisms of support. There is another way forward that does not involve punishment or jail. It's time to stop criminalizing victims and provide help instead.
On January 27, domestic violence survivor Marissa Alexander will walk out of Florida's Duval County jail -- but she won't be free.
Many of the condemnations of police brutality have excluded the experiences of black women who have been brutalized in custody. The ongoing media blackout surrounding the case of 13 black women allegedly assaulted by a police officer in Oklahoma City may be the hardest evidence of the devaluation of African-American women's lives.