A Black Girl's Death Points To Structural Racism

Honestie Hodges
William Anderson
December 6, 2020

It wasn’t a happy birthday when Honestie Hodges was diagnosed with COVID-19. She went to the hospital, was sent home, then was rushed to the hospital AGAIN where she ended up in the ICU. She was fighting for her life – and though she was only a teen, this wasn’t the first time. 


The first time Honestie’s name made headlines was when police in Grand Rapids, Michigan were looking for an adult suspect and came across her. Officers handcuffed the terrified child, held her at gunpoint, and it made national news. Now things have gotten even worse.

Honestie died on November 22nd. She was only 14. This child survived police brutality at 11 – but her life still came to an end thanks to the pandemic.

Her death highlights structural racism, with Black people dying at disproportionately high rates of COVID-19. There are many battlefields.

Honestie’s story reminds us that anti-Black racism crosses our path everyday at home, the hospital, with police, at school, and more. Black girls like her are vulnerable in many ways and deserve protection. Her legacy doesn’t end here.

Local activists have asked people to take the pandemic more seriously as infection numbers surge and break records. Her family is raising funds for their expenses. We must fight to protect Black girls like Honestie, and continue to say her name!

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