Black Mamas need love too: whether in front of or behind iron bars.
Whether rightfully or wrongfully accused. And even if their alleged crime was violent. So long as our Mamas are eligible for bail,Southerners On the New Ground (SONG) and its partners are gonna bail them out in time for Mother’s Day.
The National Mama’s Bail Out Day is happening on Saturday, May 11th, 2017 in Oakland, Los Angeles, Miami, Montgomery, Jackson, New Orleans, Memphis and Atlanta. Join over a dozen local base-building and national organizations in freeing Mothers from bars and detention centers by donating your dollars to the cause.
When our Black mamas are locked in cages, our families and communities suffer. Until we abolish bail and mass incarceration, we have to free ourselves. – SONG
We hear a lot about racial bias these days, due much to the work of groups like Black Lives Matter and our collective unrest with the state of the criminal justice system.
However, gender bias even plagues our own people – often making us discount the very real and disparate impact of mass incarceration on our own Mothers and Daughters. According to the ACLU, women are the “fastest growing segment of the incarcerated population increasing at nearly double the rate of men since 1985.” Black women, particularly, represent 30% of all incarcerated women in the U.S., but only 13% of the female population generally. Among female state prisoners, 2/3rds are mothers of a minor child.
The money bail system is just one aspect of a convoluted entanglement of inequality that’s imbedded in our criminal justice system. Every day, about 450,000 Americans sit in jail because they are too poor to post bail.
With a system that targets the Black and poor, it keeps them there by a bail-system which requires payment of an arbitrary amount of bail money to secure release before trial. Ironically, the trial is what determines guilt or innocence – not the arrest. So why are our Mothers behind bars?
We believe in Black collective freedom – and we always have. We know the stories of Black freedmen buying their families and loved ones out of slavery.
We know that it takes a village to raise a child, and we know how our grandmothers, aunties, neighbors and friends step in – time and time again – to cover the absence of a loved one. Community support without question or judgment is what we as a Black family do. And it’s what we will continue to do amidst a system that continues to fail US.
So what and whom are you celebrating this Mother’s Day? Maybe you now or previously have had an incarcerated mother and wish to donate in her honor. Maybe you’ll get to spend Sunday with your mom, and hope to share the blessing with another deserving child.
Or, maybe, you believe in the power of collective action and want to put your money where your mouth is. Whatever your reason, you should show your support and donate to the Bail Fund. Let’s bring these Mothers home, welcome them in celebration and provide them with direct services to navigate this complicated system of inequality.
Happy Mother’s Day.