March, rally highlights deaths of black women at hands of police

SEATTLE — Hundreds marched through South Seattle with a message that the lives of black women matter, too.

They said the event was necessary in their fight for equal rights. South Seattle’s Othello Park filled with people, gathering to honor the lives of black women taken at the hands of the police.

They marched to the South Precinct but did not try to go there, instead ending in the park across the street, on this day they set aside to honor the lives of black women.

It was a march like few others — this one devoted to the plight of black women.

The #SayHerName - Protect Black Women march and rally made its way through South Seattle under threatening skies.

Heading toward the South Precinct, the marchers were led by a pastor with the Washington State Poor People’s Campaign.

Rev. Bianca Davis-Lovelace says her focus remains on the lives of black women around the country who have died at the hands of police.

“To this day, we are still calling for justice for Charleena Lyles,” said Davis-Lovelace. “We’re still calling for justice for Breonna Taylor. Sandra Bland has not received justice.”

She says it fell to women like her to highlight their message, especially in the social justice movement.

“The social justice movement has always been the ‘good old boys’ club,” she said. “But the ones who are doing the labor, the everyday labor are black women, especially black queer women. And so we’re saying at the end of the day, our stories matter. Our issues matter. And we deserve to have our messages amplified.”

That was the theme of the rally that preceded the march. There was dancing, singing of “Lift Every Voice and Sing”, (known as the Black National Anthem), and a bit of poetry, too.

“If you look in my eyes,” intoned Poet Quisa Wright, “you can see the reflection of me at 21, just trying to be me.”

The rally and march ensured that at least on this day, the voices of black women are indeed heard.

“Whose lives matter?” shouted one voice. Then the by now familiar response. “Black lives matter.”