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Sandra Bland’s Mother Demands Activists ‘Stop Talking and Move’ in Stirring Speech to Congressional Caucus


The mother of 28-year-old Sandra Bland — Geneva Reed-Veal — talked to members of the Congressional Caucus on Black Women and Girls Thursday at the Library of Congress about her daughter’s death in a Texas jail.

In the nearly 4-minute speech, Reed-Veal talks about the loss of her child and what it is like to meet other mothers who have experienced the same tragedy.

Atlanta Black Star reported last July that Bland was in Texas for a job interview when a state trooper pulled her over for a traffic violation. Former officer Brian Encinia arrested Bland and she wound up dead from an alleged suicide three days later.

Reed-Veal says in the speech that she is tired of speaking up for other mothers who have lost children this way. She wants change, and she honors the activists who are fighting the good fight. The heart-broken woman turned activist continues:
“Let’s get something straight. I as a mother do not believe she committed suicide. I will say that until it’s proven … Take two minutes and Google the other six that died in jail … And as I go around the country speaking, the fact that no pen is raised in a room, where six other women, aside from my daughter, have died. And nobody knows their names. That’s a problem … God forbid you go up to another grieving mother and say you know how she feels, that is a lie. Unless you have lost a child. Am I angry? Absolutely. I’m not angry enough to create a riot where I burn things down, but I will create a riot, I will set off so that people will understand that this is real. Movements move. Activists activate. We have got to stop talking and move. So I leave you with this: it is time to wake up, get up, step up, or shut up.”
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