The violence perpetrated by police against Black women is the focus of a new book “Invisible No More,” by Andrea J. Ritchie. It is a subject that has not gotten the attention it deserves as most people and conversations surrounding police violence against Black people focuses on men and not women. Occasionally, a horrific story like the death of Sandra Bland will rise above the noise and get the attention that it deserves. But often stories of violence against Black women go untold.
In an interview with Broadly, Ritchie, when asked “Why is this book necessary?” responded,
It’s important to lift up the ways in which black women and women of color are, in fact, part of the larger conversation around racial profiling, police brutality, mass incarceration—sometimes in places where we’re already looking. For instance, if you look more deeply at those FBI statistics, you would see that between 2010 and 2014, the rate of arrest for drug offenses for women increased, while it decreased for men. What’s happening in those arrests? What’s driving those arrests? How is that contributing to mass incarceration?
There’s this notion that, because numbers are smaller, they can’t tell us anything about police brutality, racial profiling, or mass incarceration. But Angela Davis said quite eloquently in the 80s that, just because of the number of black women incarcerated were smaller than the numbers of black men, that didn’t mean their experiences didn’t have something to teach us about larger pattern of racial injustice and white supremacy in America. That still holds true today.