Black History Month Serves as a Moment to Honor the Stories of Resilience and Innovation of Leaders Who Have Carried the Black Community Through Generations of Systemic Inequities and Violence
71 Percent of Black Adults in the United States are Survivors of Gun Violence, Either Experiencing Gun Violence Themselves or Caring About Someone Who Has Experienced Gun Violence
NEW YORK — Today, Everytown for Gun Safety Support Fund and its grassroots networks, Moms Demand Action and Students Demand Action, released the following statements to commemorate Black History Month. During Black History Month, we honor the resilience and innovation of leaders who have carried the Black community through generations of systemic inequities and violence. Black advocates continue to advocate for positive change — working to stop gun violence through both grassroots and national efforts.
“As a Black woman and mother who has spent my career fighting to make our communities safer and more equitable, I’m so proud to stand shoulder-to-shoulder with people who have dedicated their lives to fighting gun violence and the systems that perpetuate it,” said Angela Ferrell-Zabala, Senior Vice President of Movement Building at Everytown for Gun Safety. “This Black History Month, I invite all Americans to reflect on how far we’ve come and how far we have to go to ensure that everyone has the opportunity to thrive, regardless of what they look like, where they come from, or how much money they have.”
“I’ve met far too many people who, like myself, have buried a family member stolen by gun violence,” said Melody McFadden, a volunteer with the South Carolina chapter of Moms Demand Action, a Senior Fellow with the Everytown Survivor Network, and member of Everytown for Gun Safety’s Veterans Advisory Council. “This Black History Month and throughout the year, while we mourn the deaths of too many Black children, mothers, fathers, friends, coworkers and neighbors, we are also resolved to never let their names be forgotten in the fight for justice, equality, and safer communities.”
Gun violence continues to disproportionately impact Black people in America at alarming rates. As Everytown’s newly released report, “Gun Violence Survivors in America” shows, 71 percent of Black adults in America are survivors of gun violence, either experiencing it themselves or caring about someone who has experienced it. In particular, gun homicides, assaults, and shootings by police are disproportionately prevalent in historically under-resourced Black neighborhoods and cities. As we continue to fight for a safer future free from gun violence, it’s critical to recognize the historical underpinnings of racism, white supremacy, and other forms of marginalization that have forced Black people in America to bear the heaviest burden of the gun violence crisis. This Black History Month and throughout the year, we continue to advocate alongside Black survivors of gun violence who have worked tirelessly to build a safer, more just America.
The first week of February also marks National Gun Violence Survivors Week — a time to share and amplify the stories and voices of gun violence survivors who live with the impact of gun violence every day. This week and throughout the year, we honor the power of Black survivors of all forms of gun violence, including survivors of gun homicides, police violence, gun suicide, domestic violence involving a gun, mass shootings, or unintentional shootings. Black History Month prompts all of us to hold space for Black survivors of gun violence, and honor the legacy of Black lives taken by senseless gun violence.