Music News

Seven Black mothers, who have all lost a son or a daughter, speak out together on their unimaginable loss

Tamika Palmer, mother of Breonna Taylor, looks on during a vigil for her daughter on June 6, 2020 in Louisville, Kentucky; Brett Carlsen/Getty Images

When George Floyd died at the hands of Minneapolis police in an incident captured on video, it galvanized the nation into a discussion about race and policing.

The disturbing video of Floyd’s arrest and death showed a white Minneapolis police officer pinning his knee onto the back of Floyd’s neck for eight minutes and 46 seconds as Floyd repeatedly pleaded, “I can’t breathe.” With his dying breaths, he called out for his mother, who died years ago.

As Floyd’s death reverberated across the country, it also laid bare the pain of so many in the Black community, igniting protests demanding justice and an accounting for actions that were globally condemned.

But Floyd was only the latest in a disturbing and inequitable pattern of Black lives lost at the hands of law enforcement, and in racially-charged incidents across this nation.  Before Floyd, there was Breonna TaylorAntwon RoseBotham Jean, Eric GarnerTamir Rice and Trayvon Martin — all killed by police or, in Martin’s case, a neighborhood watch member, within the past several years. In February, the shooting death of Ahmaud Arbery by two white men while he was jogging in Glynn County, Georgia, sparked weeks of protests.

The list goes on of Black lives taken from their communities, their families and, of course, from their mothers.

“We are never ever going to recover from this. We live it every day. We carry the pain every single day,” Sybrina Fulton, the mother of Trayvon Martin, told ABC News’ Deborah Roberts in a new feature.

“If these tears do not shake America, the tears that we shed as mothers will be the tears that break America,” echoed Botham Jean’s mom, Allison Jean.

The full interview with the seven mothers is available now on

BySabina GhebremedhinJoel LyonsNicole PelletiereLauren Sher Lesley Messer
Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.