I had to “hike” in the heat to see Poussey and snap a picture, but glad I got to see this temporary gem located on Sansom and Pacific here in San Francisco. It’s beautiful, amazing, AND important. We need to stand up for all the bodies that have dropped at the hand of a power-desperate and/or unprofessional or improperly trained officer.
Stand up for “Poussey.” For Tamir Rice. For Sandra Bland. For Trayvon Martin. For Eric Garner. For many faces and names. And just recently, stand up for Jordan Edwards. Stand up and put an end to this inhumane and unjust destruction of the black body.
Black Lives Matter. Black Bodies Matter. Black Minds Matter…
A little background on this mural and on who Poussey is:
She was one of the main characters on Orange is the New Black. She was the favorite of many actually. She was a passionate and educated black lesbian who worked in the prison library. She was harmless and had dreams of getting out of the prison and pursuing her dreams, but those dreams were strangled by an officer who accidentally killed her during a prison protest against the inhumane maintenance and rules and practices of the prison. While attempting to stop one of the correctional officers from abusing a mentally ill fellow prisoner, she was thrown to the ground and an officer (who is the most innocent and harmless officer of them all, but always felt the need to prove himself and show he belongs) rested on her back and his body crushed her while his arm cut off her circulation. She shouted that she couldn’t breathe, but he couldn’t hear. And she died. And her body was left there for a while like a stray leaf or something. And of course when the media and the prison owners got into the incident they wanted to warp the image of who she was, who he was, and what happened.
So yes, Poussey Washington is a fictional character but that story in Season Four was so real, raw, and haunting. And as season five comes near, the show has commissioned murals of her in a few cities for a limited amount of days to honor her character and to honor all of the other bodies lost due to inhumanity and injustice. She may have left the show because she recently got married to one of the executive producers, but her exit was so necessary and so important and so real. She may have had a silly name, but the end of her story is so necessary for our current country atmosphere.
For a map of all the cities the Poussey murals are located in, click here!!
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