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Gabrielle Union, Kerry Washington, And Others React To Murder and Assault Of Black Lives Matter Activist

Updated June 17, 2020.

At a time when BLM protestors are morning the death of Oluwatoyin Salau, a 19-year-old activist and speaker, celebrities are showing their support.

Salau was found dead on Saturday, June 13, in Florida according to Tallahassee Police. Leading up to her death, Salau had been an active voice in the Black Lives Matter in Tallahassee.

She was reported missing on June 6 after she claimed that she’d been sexually assaulted earlier that day.

Salau spent her final days voicing her desire to seek proper treatment of Black people and the fight for Trans people across the globe.

https://twitter.com/kurtzobain/status/1272387191314890752

A clip of Salau giving a speech in Florida in which she explained the importance of the Black Lives Matter has already been viewed over 7.3 million times on Twitter.

“At the end of the day, I cannot take my fucking skin color off,” Salau said during her speech at Black Lives Matter demonstrations. “Wherever the fuck I go I’m profiled. Look at my fucking hair, look at my skin. I can’t take this shit off. So guess what? Imma die by it. Imma die by my fucking skin. You cannot take my fucking blackness away from me.”

In each clip of Salau speaking at demonstrations, she can be heard and seen reciting the names of Black people killed by police. “I don’t want their names gone in vain,” Salau explained during one protest before the Tallahassee Police Department.

In her final days, Salau also used her voice to seek help in bringing justice to a man who had sexually assaulted her.

In the hours before she went missing, Salau shared in a tweet that she had been sexually assaulted. On the afternoon that she went missing, Salau tweeted that a man had offered to give her a ride back to a church where she had sought “refuge” because of “unjust living conditions” and then molested her.

“He came disguised as a man of God and ended up picking me up from nearby Saxon Street,” Salau said in a post to her Twitter account. “I trusted the holy spirit to keep me safe.”

After the assault took place, Salau said that she called the police and shared an address that she claimed belonged to her attacker.

According to ABC, Tallahassee police are investigating Salau’s death and how it might relate to the murder of another woman who went missing this month. The body of Victoria Sims, 75, was also found the same day as Salau’s. “Authorities have identified a suspect in the case, Aaron Glee Jr., 49, who was brought into custody over the weekend following the discovery of the victims, police said. Glee has not been charged in connection to the disappearances,” ABC reported.

According to the Tallahassee police, Salau and Sim’s deaths are being investigated as homicides and their cases have been turned over to the department’s Violent Crime Unit.

Here’s hoping Salau’s fight to make the world a better place does not go in vain.

https://twitter.com/kurtzobain/status/1272387191314890752

Through the speeches she gave at rallies it is clear that to Salau, “Black Lives Matter” meant a lot to her and the crowds who listened to her speak felt moved to follow her words. Even more importantly, she was clearly a fierce proponent for the lives of all Black people including trans people. It is a terrible tragedy that we have lost such an important voice as hers.

In response to her death, stars have taken to social media to mourn.

Actress Gabrielle Union posted a lengthy message to her Instagram page on Tuesday writing “She was 19. 19. 19. A baby. Oluwatoyin ‘Toyin’ Salau was a 19 year old warrior who fought for US,” Union wrote. “Who cares for little Black girls, Black teens, Black women? Toyin deserved so much more. She fought for so much more for all of us… I can’t shake it. I am her and she is me. I am alive to talk about surviving my rape at 19. She is not. The work continues. The fight continues. The reckoning will continue. Toyin should be here. She was 19. A baby. Hold our babies tight. Love them. Protect them. Support them.”

Kerry Washington also expressed her hurt over Salau’s writing on Twitter “This is heartbreaking. Toyin, I am praying for you. I am praying for your family. I will continue to say your name and bring.”

Common also spoke out about Salau’s death using the hashtag #JusticeForToyin in a Twitter post that described how the activist “spent the last days of her life fighting for justice for her people. It shouldn’t be lost on us that Black Women have been at the forefront of these Movements,” he continued. “We have to stand up against violence happening to our Black Women and Girls. God Bless her soul.”

A Black Transgender Woman Was Killed On The Last Day Of Pride

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A Black Transgender Woman Was Killed On The Last Day Of Pride

@astoldbymelly/ Twitter

We’re now almost halfway through 2020 and the statistics tallying the number of murders that have occurred this year in the trans community are alarming. Sadly when it came to the sacred month of Pride the trans community did not receive a break in these numbers, unfortunately.

A community in Dallas, Texas is currently coming to terms with the death of 22-year-old Merci Mack a Black transg woman whose body was discovered in Dallas on the final day of Pride.

Mack, whose body was discovered in a parking lot, is at least the 18th trans person to be killed in 2020.

According to reports, Mack’s body was discovered at 6:15 a.m and had sustained gunshot wounds. She was found in a parking lot of the Rosemont Apartments located in South Dallas. After her body was discovered, residents at the apartment claimed to police that they heard shots fired an hour beforehand. According to the Dallas Police Department, they never received a 911 about the incident. By the time an emergency response team came to the scene, Mack was dead.

Despite being an openly trans woman, reports by law enforcement and the local media deadnamed her.

The lack of support in using the deadnames of trans people has earned the ire of The Associated Press Stylebook  GLAAD and the Human Rights Campaign (HRC). AP urges reporters to use “use the name by which a transgender person now lives” and HRC has published trans reporting guidelines for police and members of the media. In a statement to BuzzFeed News, a spokesperson for the department has said that their “hearts go out to the grieving family who are trying to cope with the loss of their love one… Our detectives, as with all murders, are working diligently to find the perpetrator to this horrible crime.”

In response to Mack’s tragic death, LGBTQ+ groups have released statements honoring her life and legacy.

“Another Black transgender woman has had her life stolen from her,” Tori Cooper, a director of community engagement for HRC’s Transgender Justice Initiative stated an interview. “We cannot become numb to the fact that our community has learned of more killings of transgender and gender non-conforming people in the past few weeks than HRC has ever tracked in the past seven years.”

Mack is at least the 11th trans person to die since 2017 in Texas because of violence. Almost all of them have been Black women. Most recently, in May of this year, Helle Jae O’Regan was stabbed to death while at a barbershop in San Antonio.

Whippd Cosmetics Is Launching Nude Glosses for Black Women

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Whippd Cosmetics Is Launching Nude Glosses for Black Women

Remember the terrible days when “nude” shoes were on-trend and Black women everywhere were forced to take part in something that was meant for white women? Welp, the nude lip trend has done quite a bit of not so great favors for women of color as well. Fortunately, the black-owned beauty shop Whippd Cosmetics is blessing Black women with nude glosses that work for all of our skin tones.

On June 27, Rachel Robins the entrepreneur behind the Whippd brand announced that she’d be launching a line of nude glosses for Black women.

“I created 6 nude lip glosses made with black women in mind and I just want them to go viral! Twitter do your thing,” Robins wrote in a tweet that featured a video displaying the line with meltaonin-rich shades.

Soon enough, Twitter did do its thing and her post wrangled in over 50,000 likes and 26,000 retweets. Speaking to Teen Vogue Robins says she was “extremely shocked but also humbled” by the support she received from Twitter. “So many people messaged me about how the collection made them feel seen. It warmed my heart and was the extra boost I needed to keep going.”

Whippd Cosmetics’ first launch, called the Coco Collection, will include six different nude shades.

The glosses are rich with pigments that cater to Black women who are so often overlooked by beauty brands that still use words like “nude” to cover only a portion of the beauty market. After all, what big brands call “nude” typically works for white women only.

Speaking about her own personal experiences, Robins says she wanted to create nude lip glosses that cater specifically for Black women.

“My experience of trying to find the perfect nude lip color to match me was always unsuccessful,” Robins explained. “The colors I would use would either be too light, too dark or have a blaring red undertone. I would often have to mix together my own shades and I knew other black women have encountered the same issue while shopping for the perfect nude lip.”

The gloss shades launched on July 1st and are available on WhippdCosmetics.com.

The Coco Collection promises to “compliment your complexion” with colors that as sweet-sounding as their names are. From latte, amaretto, butterscotch to brown sugar, ebony, and truffle these shades will sweeten your heart. While the entire collection costs $48, each gloss goes for $10.

If Whippd’s new gloss line isn’t exciting enough, you’ll likely fall in love with their line of body butters and scrubs which are infused with essential oils.