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Sandra Bland’s Mother Gives Heartbreaking Speech To Congressional Leaders

Geneva Reed-Veal, the mother of Sandra Bland, the 28-year-old Black woman who suspiciously died in a Texas jail cell last summer, gave a powerful speech in front of the new Congressional Caucus on Black Women and Girls, Fusion reported.

Reed-Veal spoke about her daughter’s death, how she is confident that it was not a suicide and the impact that Sandra’s death left behind–and needles to say, she kept it real.

“I don’t come here playing games with you all. I don’t come to sit and be a part of a caucus where we talk and do nothing,” she said. She continued:

“I as a mother do not believe she committed suicide. I will say that until it’s proven. But if you want me to believe that my daughter—that I sent down there sitting up, driving her own vehicle—would be sent home in a capsule in the bottom of a plane with luggage on top of her, that I’m going to shut up? I will not. I will not. I will continue to speak for every mother paralyzed because of the loss of their child.”

As HELLO BEAUTIFUL previously reported, this new caucus is the first out of 430 registered caucuses that will focus solely on the issues that many African-American women face. And it all came about from the hard work of U.S. Reps. Bonnie Watson Coleman (D-N.J.), Robin Kelly (D-Ill.) and Yvette D. Clarke (D-N.Y.). 

Hopefully Reed-Veal’s speech will bring about some real change about the dangers that Black women face in the prison industrial complex.

NFL Linebacker Encourages Men To Speak Up Against Sexual Assault In Powerful Essay

April is National Sexual Assault Awareness Month, and to honor that, Detroit Lions’ linebacker DeAndre Levy wrote an amazing essay for The Players’ Tribune about the rape crisis in America. And while he acknowledges that football is a space where violence against is real and present, he was stresses that this epidemic is impacts the entire nation.

He bravely wrote about his first experience with sexual assault in college:

“One time I heard a group of guys joke about “running a train” on a drunk girl. At the time, my 18-year-old brain didn’t process this as anything bad. Maybe those guys were just engaging in a display of bravado. But what if what they were describing was true?… This speaks to just how toxic and backward the culture around sexual assault still is. I was 18 years old — “man” enough to drive, vote and go to war — but somehow I didn’t have the courage, or the maturity, to see what they were talking about for what it was: a serious crime.”

He goes on to say that he wished he had the courage to speak up, but now he admits that he “love[s]” a survivor of assault and believes that we should “approach this issue as a mother’s son, or as a partner, or as a sister’s brother, rather than as a bro, it looks very different. But it shouldn’t take a personal relationship to stand up for this.”

Bravo! We need more men talking about this issue, instead of blaming victims.

#BlackLivesMatter: Trigger-Happy Wannabe Oklahoma Cop Found Guilty of Manslaughter in Death of Eric Harris

Robert Bates, a 73-year old Tulsa man, was recently found guilty of the manslaughter death of Eric Harris.

According to The New York Daily News, the insurance broker Bates and wannabe police officer, used his close ties with the department to be exempt from the required 480 hours of field officer training. During a ride along, he had a gun on him, which he was never qualified to carry a weapon. This same weapon was used in the deadly shooting of Eric Harris.

During the trial, body cam footage released showed Bates riding with Tulsa police, where police stopped and wrestled Bates to the ground. Out of nowhere, Bates shot Harris for no reason, police on the scene screamed.

“Oh, I shot him,” Bates said after pulling the trigger. “I’m sorry.” To which, one of the officers on the scene said, “He didn’t do s–t, you hear me?!”

However despite admitting that Harris did nothing wrong, officers continued to hold him to the ground while the gunshot had “fractured two of Harris’ ribs and caused his lungs to collapse,” the Daily News wrote.

The case was pretty cut and dry. It only took the jury three hours to come back with a guilty verdict. Yet, Bates will only be behind for the maximum sentence, a measly four years.

For 2024’s iteration of MadameNoire and HelloBeautiful’s annual series Women to Know, we knew we wanted to celebrate the people who help make the joys of film and television possible. To create art is to create magic. This year, we spotlight Hollywood Executive’s changing the face of cinema.