She Was Arrested 13 Times Before She Was 11 Years Old

Young girls at Jim Crow water fountain
Shonda Buchanan
December 7, 2020

The sun beat down the 8-year-old girl as she marched in the crowd with other Black youth. Police dogs barked and snapped at their heels. Suddenly, an officer grabbed her, slamming her against the brick wall!

Shaking, she bit her lip when the officer arrested her. This was the first time – but it wouldn't be the last.

As he dragged Joanne Bland to the police van, she refused to cry: something had happened to make her determined to fight for her rights.

Her mother had died young, because she was refused service at a segregated hospital. This is why Bland fought so hard – racism had stolen her mother. She would fight until no other child had the same experience!

And fight she did – the racist beasts arrested this girl 13 times by the time she was 11! 

She was just another Black girl to them but to us she was a hero, fighting for liberation by any means necessary!  

Bland fought for her and her people’s liberation by any means in honor of her mother. We, too, must continue to fight for our rights so we can live free and equal in an unjust society. How are you fighting for your rights?

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