« She Would Never Commit Suicide »: Editor’s Note About the Ableist Discussions around Sandra Bland

This Bridge Called Our Health

sandra bland

By Danielle Stevens, This Bridge Called Our Health Co-Founder & Editor-In-Chief

I think some of the discourse emerging from these ‪#‎IfIDieInPoliceCustody‬ &‪#‎WhatHappenedToSandraBland‬ conversations are dangerously limited. Folks are saying « Sandra Bland was mentally sound » and « Black women like her would never commit suicide », etc. Not only are we upholding precarious and dehumanizing ‘strong black woman’ archetypes that neglect to hold Black women in the fullness and breadth that we embody, but our failure to operate within a mental health & disability justice framework by making the assertion that Sandra Bland was ‘mentallly sound’ in order to prove that she did not commit suicide is a dangerous narrative that both devalues black people who navigate mental health difficulties and trauma and also erases their/our narratives from the conversation.

To suggest that Sandra Bland was not the type of person to commit suicide results not only in the absolving…

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