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Stop Killing Us: Remembering Activist Oluwatoyin ‘Toyin’ Salau

Stop Killing Us: Remembering Activist Oluwatoyin ‘Toyin’ Salau

Another one of us, is gone.

Activist Oluwatoyin ‘Toyin’ Salau was an active force in the Black Lives Matter movement, fighting tirelessly against police violence. The 19 year old was reported missing from Tallahassee, Florida June 6th garnering instant support across social media. The Tallahassee Police Department announced Sunday that it was investigating a double homicide and had made an arrest in the case but neither revealed the identities of the victims nor the suspect. Police say the suspect in the case, 49-year-old Aaron Glee Jr., has been arrested. The other victim in the double murder was 75-year-old Victoria Sims.

Before Salau’s disappearance, she shared on Twitter that she had been sexually assaulted–the same day she was reported missing.

A GoFundMe was started in efforts to find Salau, exceeding it’s goal of $10,000. Unfortunately, news hit social media Monday morning that she was found dead. As our community grieves the continued loss of lives since the unlawful killing George Floyd and Breonna Taylor, many black women took to Twitter to express their pain over Salau’s assault and death–begging the world to protect black women.

This targeting of black women in the midst of our collective fighting in the Black Lives Matter movement brings our intersectionality to the forefront. We have to make space to discuss the sexual assault and murder black women face in our own communities and beyond. It’s not enough to shout “#blacklivesmatter” without taking responsibility to address what the freedom and protection of all black people truly means.

Black women deserve to feel safe and protected. We deserve to spoken up for and marched for. We deserve the same anger. We deserve the same willingness to enact change.

Toyin should still be here. Her voice and her story mattered, and the loss of her life has us all asking “where will black women ever be safe?”

This story is developing and will be updated with resources to donate and support Oluwatoyin’s service. 

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