Free Black Mamas on Mother’s Day

Free Black Mamas on Mother's Day

Over the past several years, National Bail Out—a Black-led collective of organizers, lawyers, and activists, has worked to free Black mamas from jails across the country before Mother’s Day. More than one in three people who are arrested can’t pay their bail, leaving them in cages until they can either scrounge up enough money for release or they finally reach trial, which can take months or years. It is a travesty that people are incarcerated pretrial simply because they’re too poor to afford cash bail, so the campaign to free Black mamas is an important step in ending mass incarceration and the criminalization of racial poverty. When I was in my senior year of college I shared an essay I wrote about prison abolition for one of my favorite classes, and one large aspect of the process is ending the cash bail system. In my essay, I wrote, “People who are incarcerated after arrest can no longer go to work, see their families, or pay their bills, so they often lose their jobs, lose custody of their children if they are the primary caregiver, and can even lose their housing all while locked up before seeing a courtroom. Cash bail breeds a cycle of irreparable damage to both families and communities and incarcerating people simply because they are poor does nothing to keep society safe. The cycle of poverty continues as people are held in jails due to their socioeconomic status and their financial inability to escape imprisonment.” I’m supporting National Bail Out’s fight to free Black mamas because no one, especially not caregivers, should be locked in cages because they are too poor to buy their way to freedom. Black women in particular are disproportionately criminalized and forced into poverty at higher rates than any other ethnicity, so focusing on freeing Black mamas is one of the best ways to spend extra cash on Mother’s Day!