Family Reunion by Laverne Ross

Wednesday, August 20, 2008


This post has been in my mind for several days but I had to put it off due to my school workload. A week ago last year while reading Ms. Gina McCauley's blog What About Our Daughters, I was made aware of the Dunbar Village Atrocity (In West Palm Beach, Florida) as I call it. When I read about the brutal rape and beating of a single Black mother and her then 12 year old son by 10 Black males, I was simply numb. The numbness then turned to shock and horror and I exclaimed "Oh my God, Oh my God!" I remember my mother coming in the computer room scared because I had apparently said those words so loud and continously. She was just as disgusted and shocked as I was. When I read that this crime happened two months earlier, I was mystified. Why wasn't this in the news?

This is what I refer to as my awakening to the true plight of what Black Women have to go through and have been going through for decades. The double standards, the misogyny, the hypocrisy and other factors started to become clear to me. It cleared up gradually as I used my outrage at what happened to write to Black newspapers and calling into radio shows about it. Eventually, as I put in the sidebar about Dunbar, this lead to me starting this blog and becoming a member of the Blogging world.

I like to think that in my small way that I helped to spread word about this awful crime and what we need to do to prevent it. However, there is still work to be done. There have been other brutal sexual crimes against Black women and girls by Black males and it shows no signs of letting up.

Unfortunately the Black media has been of little help in this crusade. Apart from Alison Samuels writing about it in Newsweek magazine, syndicated writer Clarence Page wrote an article about it and Essence magazine had a feature on it last November (and some other writers)there has to my knowledge not been anything close to a continous exposure on Dunbar and other brutal crimes by Black males against Black women. To get regular news on Dunbar you have to go to the West Palm Beach Post to get it.

Instead you have attention on R. KELLY'S trial and eventual aquittal, continous sexist music videos and books about sexing people and proud of it from "Superhead" Steffans. You have You Tube videos featuring young girls being manhandled by Black males while the rapes and murders of Black women by Black males continues. You have virtually none of our "leaders" speak out against this other than good ol' Rev. Al Sharpton doing his "I'm coming to talk to the residents and activists then no I'm not" jig. This is to my knowledge, I sure hope that I'm wrong and that someone has stepped up to try and do something,

So as I reflect on this somber "awakening", I also use this to reaffirm my pledge to do everything in my power help prevent future Dunbars. To use my position as a teacher to try to help boys to learn to be gentlemen who will respect girls and women. To help the girls to see the beauty and power that they possess and that they don't need any boy to validate it. To help them see that they don't have to rush to have sex but to wait until they know the time is right. To always feature articles about Dunbar and other atrocities.

As I wrap this up, I want to state clearly that this story is something that I will never let go of, ever.

Another Note: Because I Said So was kind enough to give me an award based on what I have done thus far concerning Dunbar. I am honored and humbled by the award. However, I would like to share the award with Ms. Gina at WAOD, Symphony at Essential Presence, Shecodes at Black Women Vote! and Blkseagoat at Black Sapience. They were on this before I was and they continue to inspire me.

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