Monday, October 29, 2007

Wear Red on October 31st

Recently, in protest of the injustice occurring in Jena, Louisiana, the Americans who knew about the 6 boys facing considerable jail time for a race-related fight (sparked by nooses being hung from a schoolyard tree) wore all black. The Jena 6, as they are commonly referred to, were commemorated on September 20th--the black outfits soliciting questions by observers. "What is this all about?" led to explanations, discussions, and exchanges. It was a way to inform those who had somehow missed the story.

A similar campaign has been launched, but now with a larger premise.

The blog "Document the Silence" has encouraged people to wear red on October 31st in order to bring attention to the violence committed against women of color.

From their website:

be bold be brave be red stop the violence

Recent events in the United States have moved us to action. Violence against women is sadly, not a new phenomenon in our country or in the world, however, in the last year women of color have experienced brutal forms of violence, torture, rape and injustice which have gone unnoticed, received little to no media coverage, or a limited community response. We are responding to:

  • The brutal and inhumane rape, torture, and kidnapping of Megan Williams in Logan, West Virginia who was held by six assailants for a month.
  • Rape survivors in the Dunbar Housing Projects in West Palm Beach, Florida one of whom was forced to perform sexual acts on her own child.
  • A 13 year old native American girl was beaten by two white women and has since been harassed by several men yelling “white power” outside of her home.
  • Seven black lesbian girls attempted to stop an attacker and were latter charged with aggravated assault and are facing up to 11 year prison sentences.

In a Litany of Survival, Audre Lorde writes, “When we are silent, we are still afraid. So it is better to speak remembering we were never meant to survive.” These words shape our collective organizing to break the silence surrounding women of color’s stories of violence. We are asking for community groups, grass-root organizations, college campus students and groups, communities of faith, online communities, and individuals to join us in speaking out against violence against women of color. If we speak, we cannot be invisible.

Join us and stand up to violence against women!
  • Be bold, be brave, be red. Wear red on October 31, 2007. Take a picture or video of yourself and friends wearing red. Send it to: We’ll post it!
  • Take Your Red to the Streets! Know of a location where violence occurred against a woman of color? Have a public location where you feel women of color are often ignored? Make violence against women of color visible by decorating the space in red. Be sure to send us pictures and or video of your display!
  • Rally! Gather your friends, family, and community to rally. Check out the Document the Silence website for the litany we’re asking participants to read together on October 31st. Be sure to send us pictures and/or video of the event! You could even gather where you created a display!

What's phenomenal about this campaign is that it hopes to draw attention to acts of violence toward women of color, many of which are not reported, not documented, given little coverage by the press, and sometimes even ignored by activists of color. I find that drawing attention to this issue is long overdue, especially considering that despite our having self-appointed spokespeople (two names come to mind), they sometimes fall behind on the job, seemingly seeking more publicity than actual justice.

With that said, let us come together on October 31st to call attention to problems that affect women around the world, many of whom look just like our mothers, our sisters, our aunts, our cousins, our friends, and ourselves.


for more information about how you can get involved, check out:

Document the Silence

- Wendi Muse

1 comment:

clnmike said...

They were not very good at getting the word out just now hereing about it. What the hell I'll rock the red.