Today is a national day of action demanding an end to state violence against Black women and girls, catalyzed by a call from Black Youth Project 100, Ferguson Action, and Black Lives Matter. This day follows close on the heels of the Say Her Name report put out by the African American Policy Forum, which lays bare the rampant and systematic killing and abuse of Black women and girls by police and other state actors, and which calls for a “gender-inclusive” approach to addressing state violence against Black communities. Black women — including cis, transgender, gender-nonconforming, straight, and queer women — face many of the same forms of police violence as do Black men, as well as violence particular to the policing of Black women’s gender and sexuality. Yet many of these stories have been made invisible amid a reemerging racial justice movement that has placed the stories of men at the center. This, despite the fact that #BlackLivesMatter was launched by queer Black women. In response, activists are increasing attention on the issue, under banners like #sayhername and #blackwomenmatter.
In the spirit of today’s actions, I thought I would feature the work of #tintedjustice, a group of artists, organizers, and cultural workers whose work has been making the rounds on social media and on the streets of Philly. #tintedjustice is a collective of queer and trans People of Color (QTPoC), and among other projects are developing a series of street art portraits that “centers women, queer and trans folks, and local lives lost due to racist and militarized state violence.” #tintedjustice works in partnership with other artists and organizers in Philadelphia, and makes their pieces available online for activists and organizers to use.
#tintedjustice created a simple and beautiful portrait of Aiyana Mo’nay Stanley-Jones, the seven-year-old girl who was shot by police during a 2011 raid, while sleeping on the couch. #tinted justice is right now using this image as part of an online action called #AiyanasDreams. Here is some of their work. For more, visit http://tintedjustice.tumblr.com/