Rashawn & Beyond: Anti-Violence News for Queer People of Color

The Rashawn Brazell Memorial Fund aims to establish a sustainable tribute to Rashawn that promotes critical thought about the impact of violence and intolerance, particularly upon queer communities of African descent.

Through this blog, we provide action alerts, event postings and breaking news as a means of informing these communities in ways that enable them to combat racism and homophobia.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Victim Still Lives With His Assault

Source: Gay City News
By: Duncan Osborne

Roughly four years after Steven Pomie nearly beat him to death on a street in Brooklyn's Brownsville section, Dwan Prince still lives with that assault.

The 31-year-old Prince for the most part is able to walk to medical appointments for the partial paralysis that resulted from the attack or for his AIDS diagnosis, but there are a few days each month when he needs his electric wheelchair.

"Usually I use the chair when my knee starts getting a lot of pain," Prince said.

The paralysis affects the entire left side of his body and the muscles on that side have contracted, shortening his left leg and reducing his use of his left arm. Now he walks "up and down," Prince said, referring to the bobbing motion he makes when he takes a stride.

He divides his time between the single room occupancy hotel he lives in on West 137th Street, Harlem United, an AIDS group, and the Gay Men's Health Crisis (GMHC), traveling by bus from one to the other for meals, meetings, and to meet friends.

"Harlem United is like a family," he said. "GMHC really can't help me, because I'm not really a client there."

A current struggle is getting the city's HIV/AIDS Services Administration (HASA), an agency not known for its effectiveness in serving its 31,000 clients with AIDS, to move him from his small room in the SRO to a larger space that can accommodate him and his wheelchair.

Read the full story here.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

"Jersey Four" Lesbian Gets Jailed for Assault

Source: The Advocate
By Michelle Garcia

A New Jersey lesbian pleaded guilty on Tuesday to assaulting a man in 2006. Renata Hill (left) will serve the remainder of a three-year sentence for reportedly stabbing Dwayne Buckle (right) after he made sexual comments to her and the group of women she was with, according to Newsday.

When Buckle made the comment to one of the seven lesbians in the group, she said she wasn't interested. He threatened and then assaulted several them, strangling the woman to whom he made the advance, according to Gay City News. Hill stabbed Buckle to make him stop, and two men approached the group to fend him off.

Three of the seven women made plea deals and four went to trial in 2007, launching sensational media coverage calling them "wolves" and "bloodthirsty lesbians." "The New Jersey Four," as they became known, were convicted on assault and gang assault charges after unsuccessfully arguing that they acted only in self-defense. However, an appellate court threw out one of their convictions, while Hill, who had initially been sentenced to eight years in prison, and another were subject to a retrial. The fourth woman's sentence was reduced from 11 to eight years.

Hill, who has already served two years, must surrender at a prison in Bedford Hills, N.Y., on April 30 to complete her sentence.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Dinners by Desire

From noon-5pm this Saturday, Rashawn Brazell's mother Desire will be selling home-cooked dinners to raise money for the Rashawn Brazell Memorial Scholarship. Meals include southern fried chicken, collard greens, baked macaroni and cheese, potato salad, curried chicken, peas and rice, oxtails and red velvet cake for desert. Chicken meals are a mere $8 and oxtail meals a mere $9.

1091-1103 Gates Avenue
Apartment 4D
(Between Broadway & Bushwick)
Brooklyn, NY

call 917.971.5321 for details