Many people are sitting in jails, not because they have been convicted of a crime, but because they can’t pay their bail or a fine. 62% of people are in jail are there because they can’t make bail. Most of the women that are sitting in jail have been accused of low-level crimes, from loitering to drug possession. A group of activists came together last year to try to come up with a plan to address the number of Black women sitting in jails purely because they couldn’t afford to get out. Eventually, they the came up with the idea to raise funds to buy these women’s freedom.
Mother’s Day this year has become Mama’s Bail Out Day, with organizers raising over $250,000 to ‘buy their freedom.” More than 30 women will be freed.
According to The Nation, one of the organizers, Arissa Hall referenced the difference between how Black women are perceived as mothers,
‘All mothers are not celebrated,’ she said, adding that this is especially true of women who struggle with poverty, addiction, and mental-health issues—in other words, the women who fill our jails. ‘Black moms especially have not been granted that title of motherhood,’ she added, going on to describe how slavery shredded kinship bonds. Black women, too, she noted, have historically taken on caretaker roles that have put them in charge of other people’s children and away from their own.
This Mother’s Day will be one that they long remember.
Read more at The Nation