The death of Sandra Bland shocked millions nationwide. We watched in horror as edited tapes were released to the public. Black mothers hugged their children tighter and the tense racial relationships were soured forever.

Today, Sandra Bland would have been 30 years old. Like they say in Hollywood, 30 is the new 20. Sandra was in the prime of her life. An educated black woman, the world was her oyster.

Regardless of what you want to believe, we can all objectively agree on the fact that Sandra should have not died because of a simple traffic violation. Many of us, a little more than occasionally, go over the speed limit or switch lanes without signaling, but we don’t think about the fact that a seemingly harmless violation like that could, if you’re black, cost you your life.

What makes Sandra’s death so heart wrenching is the fact that she doesn’t play into the narratives that the media wants to portray. She was educated and had a job. She wasn’t the “lazy, drug dealing, convict, good for nothing” stereotype that the media likes to use to portray black human beings so white people will be able to justify their death and live with clear consciences. Many said she shouldn’t have argued with the officer or shouldn’t have done xyz, but I didn’t know that putting on a blue uniform entitles you to treating people like crap.

Just like in everything, Sandra’s death was not as publicised as the other black male victims of police brutality. Black women have been stanning for black men and building them up, but during this time, none of them were anywhere to be found. We mourned the death of Sandra in relative silence even though her black life mattered too.

Sandra Bland’s life is a reminder to us all how undervalued black lives, especially those of women, are in our society. Even with the pathetic excuse for a leaders that we have in our government now, her death will not be in vain. We will continue to stand up against police brutality. We will continue to fight against systemic racism. Sandra Bland is not dead. Her memory and spirit motivates the equality that us as black people and our allies are fighting for.

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