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Last week [Friday, April 15] a ceremony was held in honor of the late Sandra Bland, marking the official name change of a road in Prairie View, Texas to Sandra Bland Parkway.

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photo credit: Bret Coomer, Houston Chronicle


In July, Bland was stopped and apprehended by officer Brian Encinia for an improper lane change while in town to accept a job offer from her alma mater, Prairie View A&M University. Bland’s unclear and disturbing arrest went viral and raised questions after the 28-year old was found dead in the Waller County, Texas jail cell days later.

Close to 100 college students, activist, family and close friends attended the ceremony wearing buttons displaying Bland’s piercing smile and #SandraBland t-shirts.

“It’s not about just Sandy,” Bland’s mother, Geneva Reed-Veal, said to the crowd. “It’s about other women and men who’ve died at the hands of officers who’ve sworn to protect them.”

During the ceremony, Reed-Veal played a voicemail her daughter had left before she was detained by police informing her mother that she had made it, stating: “I am here.”

July 13th will mark the one year anniversary of Sandra Bland’s death. #SayHerName

photo credit: Bret Coomer, Houston Chronicle