It’s been exactly a year since Breonna Taylor was murdered by the police in Louisville, Kentucky, shot dead while she slept in her bed alongside her boyfriend, Kenneth Walker, by two plainclothes officers who used a battering ram to enter their home with a no-knock warrant. The two officers were fired but none were charged or prosecuted for her death. Since then, Taylor has become the face of #SayHerName, a movement created by African American Policy Forum in 2014 to include women in the national conversation about race and policing. Her likeness has appeared on magazine covers, Billboards, and social media galvanising a movement within a movement. In her re-introduction to The Cut as editor-in-chief, Lindsay Peoples Wagner spoke with Taylor’s mother Tamika Palmer, and her sister, Ju’Niyah Palmer on the importance of continuing to say her name.
“It’s been torture,” Tamika told The Cut, describing the year as “hell.” “I mean, it didn’t get any easier, that’s for sure. Every day is the same for me. Every day has been March the 13th since it happened.” Ju’Niyah is frustrated about the amount of attention the royal family is getting. “Our world stopped for a while,” she said. “Everybody’s kept going. The days were just passing us, we weren’t passing with the days. The days were passing us. I know there are those who still haven’t moved on, but the world is moving on to other situations,” Ju’Niyah continued. “Now everybody’s more so focused on the royal family right now. It’s no longer about Breonna, George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery — it’s no longer about them. It’s kind of annoying and frustrating because it’s like, why are you guys skipping over the fact that there are Black people who were murdered, and there’s still no justice, but you are worried about a royal family who, at the end of the day, they’re going to be good because they’re going to adjust to what needs to be adjusted for them. It’s hard for me. Why do we care so much about racism on the other side of the world, but Black people are still being murdered here.”
But Ju’Niyah is very appreciative of the way strangers around the globe have come together for her older sister. “It was only us, her family, in the beginning,” she explained. “We were the ones who kept saying her name and made sure Louisville Metro Police Department knew they weren’t going to get away with this. So when other people joined in on #SayHerName and the whole movement, it just made me feel comfortable knowing it’s no longer just us. Everybody has helped. It made us feel like we weren’t alone in this fight.”