Revolution In Our Bones: On The State Murder of Korryn Gaines


TW: Misogynoir, Anti-Black Racism, Police Bruality

I think it’s cute: the way millions are condemning Korryn Gaines actions against police but continuously idolize the likes of Malcolm X, Fred Hampton, Assata Shakur and the Black Panthers (amongst others). Like Korryn, Revolution was in their bones.

I think it’s cute: the way Black women are diagnosing her with mental illnesses and citing those as the reason for her defiance while refusing to acknowledge their own mental illness.

I think it’s cute that Korryn’s death is bringing out the ugly in all of us.

On August 1st, news reports filled my timelines:

Korryn Gaines, a 23-year-old black woman, was shot and killed by Baltimore County Police officers Monday after an hours-long standoff that also left a 5-year-old boy with a gunshot wound.

According to reports, the boy was taken to the hospital and is expected to survive. Authorities say it is unclear who shot the boy. Jermaine Bennett, Gaines’ uncle, told the Baltimore Sun the boy is Gaines’ son.

Korryn Gaines, a 23 year old Black woman from Baltimore, Maryland was murdered in her home after a SWAT team arrived to arrest her for parking tickets. Her 5 year old sustained a gunshot wound and a Black male she was dating fled the scene with a small child.

Many articles have been written to discuss the facts surrounding her death, so I’m not here to try and analyze what happened. I mainly want to discuss the responses.

“I think the dismissal – or perhaps even the confusion – over Korryn Gaines’ reaction to systemic oppression truly demonstrates how easily so many of us romanticize militancy. It’s easy to say “by any means necessary”, it’s much harder to actually hold your own.” – Roslyn Cecilia

I know it may seem like a farfetched concept for people who are willing to fold and submit on command, but some of us are vehemently against the state and refuse to recognize the authority that the state proclaims to have. We live by it and we will die by it. The death of Ms. Gaines will be noted as a historical marker of change in black womanism/ feminism. Reason being, if there is nothing that codified the truth of intrarelations between black men and women , it is in the dynamics of Korryn Gaines personal relationship with her partner during the incident and the aftermath, and all of the misogynoir surrounding the media speculations of the validity of her victimhood.

All Skinfolk ain’t Kinfolk: Black Men & Women Race To Condemn Korryn:

Screen Shot 2016-08-03 at 2.36.34 PM

The discrepancy in responses to Korryn’s situation and others (men) is astounding, if you’re paying attention. Upon details of her death emerging, people were shocked to learn that she’d been promptly abandoned by her boyfriend/father of her child. I was not.

“A revolutionary woman can’t have no reactionary man.”
– Assata Shakur
The responses to Korryn’s death have been nothing short of disgusting. Misogynoir continues to run ramped as Black men and women attempt to diagnose Korryn as “crazy” and “mentally ill”. They see her method of raising her child as abuse but praise Afeni Shakur for her militancy and ability to give the world, Tupac.



Drapetomania: Was Korryn Mentally Ill?


Whenever you log onto Facebook, you’ll see that many are still discussing the possible mental illness of Korryn Gaines and not the clear insanity of sending SWAT to someone’s home and breaking the door down over traffic tickets, executing them, and shooting at a child. Many people claim to have worried about HER mental health when that woman had no record of assault or murder but the people who killed her have killed so many others and manage to sleep soundly at night.  

I’ve seen a multitude of responses:

“Korryn Gaines was crazy.”

“She was a crazy bitch.”

“She was “aggy”.”

“She should have complied with the police.”

“She was loud mouthed.”

“She was a stupid ass hoe.”

“A stupid ass loud mouth little girl.”

“She deserved to get shot because she pointed a gun at the police.”

But just weeks ago, Micah X. Johnson was a hero for what happened in Dallas, or it was a “false flag”, depending on who you talk to. Overall, the general consensus never actually stated that HE was crazy.

Now, all of a sudden no one seems to find it odd that the police felt the need to suit up in SWAT gear and go to Korryn Gaines’ apartment to serve what probably amounted to a bench warrant for traffic violations. No one finds it odd that the police’s body cams conveniently “malfunctioned” during this standoff. This is the time where people, Black men and women, think it’s necessary to wait until all the facts come out. NOW people want to say that she shouldn’t have pointed a gun at the police ~ even though we all know that there have been numerous armed suspects that have pointed guns at police, shot at police, even got into fist fights with the police and still were apprehended alive; furthermore, she has the right to bear arms, especially inside of her own home, and defend herself against any and all threats.

If we step back and take a moment to be really real, there are certain things we must address. We must talk about how Black women being warriors, standing on the front lines, fighting, is ok, but only in theory- only when romanticized. Now, we have a young woman, ‪#‎KorrynGaines‬, that didn’t just talk about it. She was BOUT IT. An intelligent, beautiful young Black woman who was willing and ready to die for what she believed in. By all accounts she went out like a soldier.

But she’s the crazy one?!

Is she really crazy? Or does her light shine and highlight your inadequacies and your romanticism of revolution? Think about that.

Mourning Militancy


I keep seeing people blame Korryn Gaines for her death, because of her adherence to radical anti-state violence principles. Blaming a Black woman for refusing to cower to a violently militarized State? We in the same movement, fam? You friends or Feds?

Stop claiming you are a supporter of revolutionary struggle when you don’t even know what it looks like. Stop saying you believe ‪#‎BlackLivesMatter‬ when you clearly value the State more.

Radical defiance of an unjust regime is not criminal. It is of the highest valor. Say her name or shut the hell up.



Train Up A Child

Korryn Gaines taught her Black children about white supremacy and police violence, without sugar coating and by following radical Black Nationalist ideology and practices. That’s clear in that video if you’ve ever read a book about Afeni Shakur’s relationship with Tupac or the way the BPP taught their students. She never told her children to fight or hate the police, she just taught them EARLY about the reality of a violently racist system. It’s the same as all the leaders y’all claim to love like Stokely Carmichael, Assata Shakur, Harriet Tubman, and Malcolm X. You don’t praise her? Cool— keep their names out your mouth from now on too.

Assata Didn’t Teach You A Damn Thing

It’s easy to wish for a revolution and hope that one day, we wake up and oppression is no more. It’s cowardly to shun those who don’t believe in that fairy tale and decide to be revolutionary on their own terms.

You should not wear “Assata Taught Me” t-shirts while preaching about a peaceful movement or crying that, “violence ain’t the answer”. What exactly did Assata teach you? Assata was about tearing shit up and shutting shit down.

Do NOT let me catch you posting Malcolm X or Angela Davis quotes while being homophobic and ridiculing the proletariat and the criminalized underclass.

I’m NOT with that compliance shit anymore. If I’m going to die, I’m going to die free.

Hear me clearly. IF YOU ARE CONDEMNING KORRYN’S ACTIONS, ASSATA SHAKUR HASN’T TAUGHT YOU SHIT! Logically, if you love Tupac, you must love Korryn. Tupac was raised by a Korryn whether you want to believe it or not.

Without Harriet Tubman, Assata Shakur, Angela Davis, Kathleen Cleaver and other women like them, there would likely be no Korryn.


“Remember that it was a young Black hood mother of 2 who went out like a thug

It was her who said “fuck pacifism”

And I am so proud of her.” – Myesha Chantal



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