A Time To Remember: One Year After Sandra Bland’s Death

It is a year already since the tragic sudden demise of Sandra Bland, who was found dead in jail three days after her unlawful arrest.

The inscriptions on the sign posts have changed.  What a year ago was known as University Drive is now officially called Sandra Bland Parkway. We honor the life of Sandra Bland, a 28-year-old Black woman who mysteriously died in police custody a year ago.

Despite an intensely troubling week of deadly violence in Baton Rouge, St Paul and Dallas, and protests across the country against police killings of Black people, people gathered in a solemn atmosphere at the Texas jail where Sandra died for a memorial service. Moreover, DuPage AME Church has planned two candle lighting ceremonies on Sunday to honor Bland’s memory, reported by The Tribune. The Pastor of the church said the vigil will assist bring healing to family and friends who worshiped with Bland.

Bland’s church announced that it will open the Sandra A. Bland Diversity Institute in January on Martin Luther King Jr. Day, a report by The Tribune. The aim of the institute is to encourage a new generation to pursue the same spirit, faith, and social activism Bland displayed.

It is rather unfortunate that this memorial is at a time when the country is still battling with racial discrimination and social injustice against Black people. Nonetheless, the hoary systemic racial and inequality problems epitomized by Bland’s arrest and death in police custody last July have not changed.

Moreover, we regret to note the fact that the situation is getting worse by the day. Not a month passes without hearing the news of a Black person who died in the dungeons of the American prisons. It seems the very place meant for correction has been turned into a ‘dark room’ to perpetuate evil agendas against Black people.

“What we’re seeing is a disease, and disease is progressive, “It’s only going to get worse;” Rev. James Miller, pastor of  DuPage AME Church where Sandra grew up in Lisle, Illinois told The Chicago Tribune. He described the long-standing

Systemic racism in America as a disease which has the capacity to progress until a radical transformation is birthed to ensure its halt.  On the other hand, we must understand that real change is deeds, not words only.

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