What would you do if you suddenly lost your child?
How would you honour them and their memory?
If they had been killed in a high-profile way, perhaps by a police officer, or a neighbourhood watchman gone rogue, or had died mysteriously in custody after a traffic stop on their way to job interview, what would you do?
For these mothers, this isn’t a hypothetical question.
Sybrina Fulton (Trayvon Martin’s mum), Geneva Reed-Veal (Sandra Bland’s mum), Lucia McBath (Jordan Davis’ mum), Gwen Carr (Eric Garner’s mum), Cleopatra Pendelton (Hadiya Pendleton’s mum), Maria Hamilton (Dontre Hamilton‘s mum), Lezley McSpadden (Michael Brown’s mum), and Wanda Johnson (Oscar Grant’s mum) have all lost a child.
Today they turned their grief into a nation-stopping address.
Taking the stage at the Democratic National Convention, after Hillary Clinton officially made history as the first major party female nominee for United States President, the mothers endorsed Clinton’s candidacy, as a way to keep up the fight for their children, and the countless others that came before.
They blew everyone away.
“One year ago yesterday, I lived the worst nightmare anyone could imagine. I watched as my daughter, Sandra Bland, was lowered into the ground in a coffin,” Geneva Reed-Veal said.
“I’m here with Hillary Clinton because she is a leader and a mother who will say our children’s names.
“Hillary knows that when a young black life is cut short, it’s not just a personal loss. It is a national loss. It is a loss that diminishes all of us.
“What a blessing to be here tonight, so that Sandy can still speak through her mama. And what a blessing it is for all of us that we have the opportunity, if we seize it, to cast our votes for a president who will help lead us down the path toward restoration and change,” she said.
Her words were echoed by the other mums.