Atatiana Jefferson should still be alive today, but the decision by an all-white jury to convict her killer of manslaughter, while short of murder, is a rare recognition that some wrong was done in taking an innocent Black woman’s life. Atatiana was a loving daughter, sister, aunt and friend, and her life had value beyond measure.
When we repeat the words #SayHerName, it is more than a mantra or a hashtag. It is a rallying cry to remember the lives that have been taken by police violence and to demand a better country, one in which justice is achievable and the lives of Black women, girls and femmes are valued and protected. We cannot and should not let others erase the lives of women like Atatiana, and we must demand continued accountability and change. Today’s verdict is one step in a long walk towards justice. We continue to grieve with Atatiana’s family, with her sisters Amber and Ashley Carr who are members of our #SayHerName Mothers Network community, and with the community within which Atatiana should still be living and bringing joy. We hold Atatiana’s memory close as we continue in the work to create the change we need to ensure that every Black girl, woman and femme can live full lives in this country, lives marked by joy and free of fear.
Join AAPF in leading the #SayHerName movement here: https://www.aapf.org/sayhername