Atlanta Activists Bail Out Over 30 Women On Mother's Day
Mother's Day celebrations for incarcerated women took on a new light over the weekend when dozens of mothers were released from jail thanks to the queer liberation organization, Southerners On New Ground.
The group, also known as SONG, bailed out dozens of jailed mothers across the southeast, including cities in Georgia and North Carolina. WSB-TV reports a third of the women came from Fulton and Clayton County jails in Atlanta while others were from Wilmington, NC. The Campaign to End Cash Bail also took part in helping mothers in the latter area.
"I'm not free until all my people are free," said SONG bailout organizer Lisa Clinton. "There are too many people here in this world who are being discriminated against, and they’re being abused. We fight for the marginalized people, the oppressed people." Clinton says 700 donations helped pool their $40,000 fund to help provide assistance to those who cannot afford bail.
“Most of the women in jail are black women and most of them are mothers and it interrupts who we are as a community,” Janyce Jones of Campaign to End Cash Bail said. “Our black men are already incarcerated at enormous rates and now black women following them just interrupts who we are as a people– black people in the community. When we are affected, everybody is affected.”
SONG is just one of many organizations dedicated to bailing out black mothers. The National Bail Out's #FreeBlackMamas initiative was conceived by activist Mary Hooks in 2017. She is also the co-director of SONG. According to the Huff Post, the group has raised over $1 million and bailed out more than 300 mothers across the nation.
“I feel empowered. I feel blessed," Brianna White, a mother of two boys, told reporters. White was able to spend Mother's Day with her children thanks to SONG's initiative. She was previously arrested Tuesday (May 7) and charged with aggravated assault and criminal property damage. A judge gave her a $25,000 bond she couldn't afford. Instead of the falling into the trap of cash bail, SONG was able to help.
“I have never missed a holiday, a birthday or anything with my kids. I’m always there," she said. "I’m blessed, for real. You don’t get that every day."