We Say Her Name (Part 1): Breonna Taylor-Trauma Is Not A Trend

We say her name. She could have been any of us. This word ‘us’ being any Black woman I know. -JBHarris

I am a single woman, whom lives alone with two daughters. When I heard about what happened to Breonna, I have had nightmares about police kicking in my door–clearly the wrong house–and them killing me, and my children. Or, they kill me and my 13-year-old daughter finding me.

I cannot imagine what fear Breonna went to, and how horrific it is to die in the arms of the man that is supposed to care and protect from you. And to see his effort come to nothing because of the desire and ignorance of evil men.

I believe the story of what happened to Breonna resonates so deeply is because of how real this fear is. How close this fear is! These stories of the Klan, angry White folk killing us without thought, are not things we make up! These are not things that we pull out of the air! These are those stories, made up of conversations, that Black children hear–when they aren’t supposed to hear. These inappropriate, bitter family histories that allow them this duplicitous vision of seeing the world they inhabit as snake in a closed basket. But you are told to carry it.

But you are told to carry it.

The death of Breonna Taylor is a specter that I believe we are still processing. We are still unpacking it–and part of that unpacking means to realize Breonna could have been me. Or my mother. My sisters. My friends. My child–who does not look her age.

I understand that hope is a discipline. I understand that perception dictates reality. I also know that fear is a hater and a weight. But what do you do when they all converge?

We say her name, because it is easy to dismiss Black women and girls. It is easy to relegate and delegate us to margins and edges, purposing our pain and trauma for the consumption of culture thirsty for Black girl lifeblood. We say her name, because we know he could have been us. If Black women don’t fight for ourselves, who will?

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