A group of mothers of African-Americans killed by police or gun violence spoke somberly at the Democratic National Convention Tuesday night, imploring the attentive crowd and a nation watching at home on TV, to remember their fallen children and insisting that they did not die in vain.
Known as “Mothers of the Movement,” this sisterhood of seven which held in common the singular tragedy of having lost their sons to cops or guns, bravely took the stage amid a standing ovation and chants of “Black Lives Matter.”
First to speak was Geneva Reed-Veal, the mother of Sandra Bland, who was found hanged in a Texas jail cell in July 2015, after she was arrested during a traffic stop.
“One year ago, yesterday, I lived the worst nightmare anyone could imagine. I watched as my daughter Sandra Bland was lowered into the ground in a coffin,” she said, holding back tears as she explained why she was supporting Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton.
“She knows that when a young black life is cut short, it’s not just a loss, it’s a personal loss, it’s a national loss, it’s a loss that diminishes all of us,” she said, voice strained. “What a blessing tonight to be standing here so that Sandy can still speak through her mother,” she added, prompting the second in a number of standing ovations.
“And what a blessing it is for all of us, if we seize it, to cast our votes for a President who will help us lead us down a path toward restoration and change,” she said.