Sandra Bland’s mother Geneva Reed-Veal delivered a emotionally powerful speech to Congressional leaders Thursday.
“I as a mother, do not believe [Sandra] committed suicide […],” she said. “I will continue to speak for every mother who is paralyzed because of the loss of their child.”
Reed-Veal was on-hand to celebrate the launch of the Congressional Caucus for Black Women and Girls. Her speech, held at the Library of Congress drew a crowd of nearly 100.
Reed-Veal’s daughter Sandra was pulled over last July for a minor traffic violation. She was later found dead in a Texas jail cell, sparking national protests and campaigns online to #SayHerName and fight against unfair policing.
“Am I angry, absolutely,” Reed-Veal said. “I’m not angry enough to create a riot where I burn things down, but I will create a riot, I will set off so that people will understand that this is real. Movements move. Activists activate. We have got to stop talking and move. So I leave you with this: it is time to wake up, get up, step up, or shut up.”