Sandra Bland's Sisters Speak On Her Life, Legacy And HBO's 'Say Her Name: The Life And Death of Sandra Bland'
We know her name. Sandra Annette Bland — affectionately known as Sandy by her friends and loved ones— was just 28 years old in July 2015, when she was pulled over for what should have been a routine traffic stop in Prairie View, Texas. Unfortunately, that was not the case. Bland was ripped from her vehicle by a Texas State Trooper and jailed in Waller County. Three days later, she was found hanged in her jail cell. From the moment the news of her death was reported, it was met with immediate outrage and suspicion. Her story became a leading face in the #SayHerName movement that focus on the Black women and girls who have been victims of police violence but have often been overshadowed in the #BlackLivesMatter movement by male victims whose stories have received more attention.
Though Bland’s family is no closer to having answers than they were three years ago, they’ve partnered with Oscar-nominated and Emmy-winning filmmakers Kate Davis and David Heilbroner to bring Sandra’s story to the big screen while ensuring that her legacy and her name continues to echo loudly around the world. HBO’s Say Her Name: The Life & Death of Sandra Bland begins just ten days after the young activist’s death and follows Bland’s family and the Black community as they desperately search for answers.
Ahead of the film’s debut, Shadow and Act sat down with Bland’s older sisters Sharon Cooper and Shante Needham to discuss the movie, who Sandy was, and how they’ve continued to push forward in the midst of overwhelming grief.
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