She Was Murdered By Her Father

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L. Graciella Maiolatesi
July 19, 2022

He tortured and raped her for 22 hours before slitting her throat. He then turned himself in, calmly stating, “I just killed someone.” 

She was only 15 years-old. He was a relative of hers, but not just any relative!

Zaria Burgess was raped and murdered by her father, Joshua Burgess in 2019. Burgess was arrested, convicted of all charges, and sentenced to death. 

Unfortunately, however, abuse like this goes way back.

White enslavers would often rape Black girls – even girls they were related to! Because of the “one drop rule,” enslavers could assault and impregnate enslaved girls without being held responsible. 

Black people were raped throughout enslavement, and this is part of a larger legacy. White supremacy brainwashed enslavers to believe violence was the only way to keep Black people “in line.”

White descendants of enslavers carry their own “ancestral trauma” with them – a subconscious belief Black people are deserving of violence. 

Detectives believe Burgess delusionally murdering his own daughter was about “lust and control.”  However, rape is always about power, specifically dominating and dehumanizing someone.

While Zaria’s case is extreme, it’s important we remember white supremacy will always find a way to prey on Black children, be it sexually, emotionally, physically, or mentally. 

We must protect Black children at all costs. All of them - including Zaria - deserve to grow up safe and loved.

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