The Brujas of the Bronx, a skating crew dedicated to fighting aggressive gentrification, anti-capitalism, and the surveillance of private property, while creating radical support systems of sisterhood outside of the mainstream, have dedicated a vigil to one of their fallen sister skaters, Maylin Reynoso.
Reynoso, who was of Dominican descent, was last seen working at her job at a gas station on July 27. Friends and family asked via social media outlets for people to come forward with the her whereabouts, to no avail. Then, on July 31, Reynoso’s body was discovered in the Harlem River. While Reynoso’s death received offensively scanty media coverage, the death of Karina Vetrano, a 30-year-old Italian woman who was murdered in Queens during a jog, was covered internationally.
“Watch any true crime documentary or read any crime headline in the news and the description of the missing or murdered girl will use several tropes and buzzwords,” writes Zeba Blay in Huffington Post. “A victim was ‘blonde’, ‘attractive’, ‘All-American’. It’s a narrative that works well, that perfectly fits the clickable, sellable narrative of innocence vs. evil. It’s a narrative that not only caricatures, fetishizes, and erases the identities of real-life white female victims, but also makes no room for women of color like Maylin Reynoso.”
Earlier this year, it was reported that over 12 Bronx teen girls who were missing for the past two years, raising community concerns of possible abductions and fears of a prostitution ring. Over 64, 000 Black women remain missing in the United States, and there is a stark racial divide in the coverage of when non-white women are reportedly abducted. Police often attribute the disappearance of Black and Latinx women to criminal activity, therefore, their cases aren’t valued as much. “Every other week our young girls are just vanishing off our streets,” Councilman Andy King said in a news conference. “Something is going on.”
hosting a skatesesh TOMORROW in memory of Maylin Reynoso and other disappeared women from uptown (5pm), a counselor from CVTC (crime victims treatment center) will join Brujas in facilitating a conversation on women’s safety and wellbeing in NYC street culture, all are welcome to express themselves without judgment, we are creating a completely open space for people to process and share their feelings (6pm), we will be installing a memorial after, feel free to bring a candle or any sort of memorial pieces, we will install and hold a candle vigil (7pm) / 181 highbridge park skate, DM if you need directions / fb #linkinbio
The lackadaisical approach of police in regards to the safety of Black and Latinx women demonstrates the failure of the state to protect them from harm. Women of color bear the brunt of violence from those in authority and those within the community, without expecting to defend themselves. From transgender women like CeCe McDonald, to Renata Hill, and to 15-year-old Bresha Meadows, the lack of protection for non-white women has grave consequences, leaving them to fend for themselves.
On August 23, Brujas held space for community at the CTVC (Crime Victims Treatment Center) in order for people to grieve, express themselves, and how to “strive for accountability and wellness together.” The Witches have also created a gofundme for Maylin’s funeral.
The skateboard collective aims to bring greater safety to female skaters in NYC street culture, while fighting hard to be taken seriously as a femmes within skating subculture. On Aug. 17, they wrote this message on their Instagram:
“haters will say brujas dont really skateboard that well or whatever and our response is “KI$$ OUR A$$” anything someone femme and particularly femmes of color do on skateboards is automatically gnarly as fuck given the fact that our proximity to pre-mature death is much much closer than mens, especially when you are a woman that spends her time freely navigating public space, whether your hanging in the park or skateboarding, or participating in street culture. We are sending all of our love to Maylin’s family and our prayers to her resting soul.”
This summer our uptown skateboarding community lost a dear friend, Maylin Reynoso. In light of the many dissappearances of women uptown over the last few years, Brujas and CVTC ( Crime Victims Treatment Center) will be holding space for our community to gather, grieve, express themselves as it relates to women and their public safety, their relationship to Maylin, and how we can strive for accountability and wellness together. Contributions to Maylin’s family and her funeral can go here — https://www.gofundme.com/2jj3q98 5 – 6 we will hold a skate-sesh in memory of Maylin 6 – 7 we will hold space for conversation, sharing of memories and feelings. 7 – 8 we will install a memorial together, feel free to bring candles, memories, photos, offerings, anything you wish to contribute to a small altar we will install at the park, with a short candle vigil. To our femme skateboarding community, and larger community of women in NYC, you are cared for you are special your are important you are safe with us and we love you. See you Tuesday ! #RSVP #LinkinBio
A photo posted by brujas (@wearebrujas) on