It is impossible to turn on the television without seeing a new victim of extrajudicial violence. The number of black lives taken or injured by police brutality continues to rise at an alarming rate. The most recent case flooding our social media pages is the death of Sandra Bland.
Earlier this month, twenty-eight year old Bland was stopped by a Waller County police officer for a minor traffic violation. The stop resulted in a larger altercation where the officer deemed it necessary to arrest and book Bland for assault on a public police officer. By the morning of July 13th, a female officer found Bland dead in her cell during the scheduled recreation time.
County officials have issued Bland’s death as a suicide, but her family and friends have expressed skepticism at the finding.
It is infuriating to see and hear the complete lack of concern and appreciation for black lives. As these occurrences become more frequent, it has left the black community in anger, fear and questioning the events surrounding the death of so many. There seems to be no recourse for the black community, not from the mainstream media or the justice system.
The mainstream media has proven to be unreliable in answering many of the cases of extrajudicial violence, and in many cases purposely spread misinformation. The judicial system continues to reaffirm that black lives do not matter while we continue to scream #blacklivesmatter.
Despite the lack of support from the mainstream media and the judicial system, black millennial activists have strategically used social media and content creation to drive conversations about racism. Without these actions we may not know the names of #sandrabland, #mikebrown, and #renishamcbride.
While there is tremendous pain and anger surrounding the movement, black folks are also relying on humor to heal and connect. There are hashtag after hashtag celebrating black culture and changing the narrative through humor.
Black women are leading the charge for creating humorous content to set the record straight about racism. The media stereotypes us as only being angry and defensive, but we have a killer sense of humor and comedic skills.
Here are four black comediennes using their craft to shape new narrative about racism in America:
Jessica Williams of The Daily Show
Evelyn from the Internets
Franchesca Ramsey of MTV Decoded
I commend each of these women for the stand that they are taking. As a collective, their work has received much critical acclaim and has gone viral a millions times over. The movement to end racial inequality is one for the long haul, we must employ our fullness to continue to challenge and dismantle it. These ladies have taught us that we can all use our talents and gifts to make a difference in the movement. Race does not have to be ignored for you to be successful because tackling it head on could be a career catalyst. Be sure to share your thoughts about millennial black women using comedy to challenge structural racism.