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Mumu Fresh Feat. Black Thought & DJ Dummy perform 'Say My Name' at an NPR Music Tiny Desk Concert; a demonstrator pays tribute to Sandra Bland at a Black Lives Matter rally. (YOUTUBE/NPR; KENA BETANCUR/AFP/GETTY IMAGES)

'Don’t forget about me'

On what would have been Sandra Bland’s 32nd birthday, watch this stunning version by Mumu Fresh of ‘Say My Name’

February 7, 2019

It has been almost 4 years since 28-year-old Sandra Bland was found dead in a Texas jail cell, after being taken into custody on suspicion of assault following a routine traffic stop.

Bland had just completed a successful job interview at Prairie View A&M University, her alma mater, when police pulled her over for allegedly changing lanes without signaling. At some point, authorities contend, Bland assaulted an officer and she was arrested. Apparently angered by Bland’s refusal to put out a cigarette, state trooper Brian Encinia threatened to drag her out of her car and “light [her] up” with a Taser. The pair are seen in footage from the day walking off camera, then Bland is seen with her wrists behind her back. “You’re about to break my wrist, stop,” she screams, “you’re a real man now, you just slammed me, knocked my head into the ground, I got epilepsy.”

Three days later, she was found hanged in her cell. The question of whether there was foul play involved in Bland’s apparent suicide, as suspected by many friends and family, has never been established. It has been concluded, however, that jail officials fabricated records of a check that was supposed to be made on Bland’s wellbeing. No one has ever been held criminally liable for Bland’s death, or her arrest, but in 2016, Bland’s family settled a wrongful-death lawsuit for $1.9m.

Bland would have been 32 years old today, and you can listen below to a stunning version of Maimouna Youssef’s (aka Mumu Fresh) ‘Say My Name’, featuring Black Thought, recorded by NPR in 2018. The song was originally released on Youssef’s 2017 Vintage Babies album, with D.J. Dummy, and asks its audience to examine the public handling of the case and to not forget Bland, who died on July 13, 2015.

Go to 13:30 in this video for a stunning version of ‘Say My Name’ — a tribute to Sandra Bland:

SAY MY NAME 

If I should die tomorrow at the hands of the policeman
And the papers say
We’re going to call it a suicide, would you even question why
Would you shake your head and say this ain’t right
Or do your best and forget about me
Please, please, please don’t forget about me

Ohhhh, say my name
Say my name
Say my name
Say my name
Say my name
Don’t forget my name

Say my name
Don’t forget my name

If I should die tomorrow
At the hands of the policeman
And the papers say, we’re going to call it a suicide
Would you even question why
Would you believe in my innocence
Would you even come to my defense
Would you believe in the good I’ve done
Or will my name be smeared and my story unsung
Would you search for the answers or take what they hand us
Who’s going to stand with me
Please please please don’t forget about me

Ohhhh, Say my name
Say my name
Say my name
Say my name
Don’t forget my name

Say my name
Don’t let it be in vain

Rap:
Even the sun goes down
Heroes eventually die
Shot with their hands in the sky
Your favorite revolutionaries give up and comply
And the internet will justify your reason to die
We watched a woman get dragged out and beat and filmed in the highway
and all y’all can say was black women too mouthy
I’m searching my timeline seeing people find time to criticize and villainize and call that shit a suicide
Well what if Sandra Bland was your child
I know the struggle in your heart
But we ain’t backing out
Nothing is impossible
The word alone says I’m Possible
So I’m the racehorse that I’m riding for
The audacity of hope
To believe we can succeed when everybody and their momma say nope
Well fuck ya’ll
I’m different, descendent of the fittest
I’ve been reincarnated just so I can handle business
My name, oh say my name, say my name
Don’t let her struggle be in vain
So say her name
She ain’t die in vain
Say my name, say my name

Related

Sandra Bland’s family reaches $1.9M wrongful death settlement

Jail where Sandra Bland died “seriously deficient” and “dehumanized inmates”

Sandra Bland’s mother: “Are we talking about ‘serve and protect’ or ‘isolate and neglect’?”