On Monday morning, Sandra Bland, a 28-year-old businesswomen and member of Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority, Inc. was found dead in a Texas jail cell and many are angrily questioning the official police report which claims she committed suicide.
Sandra Bland was found dead in her jail cell in Waller County, Texas, at 9 a.m. after being arrested for allegedly assaulting a police officer during a routine traffic stop. Sheriff’s deputies say her death appears to be suicide by “self-inflicted asphyxiation.”
Bland was pulled over last Friday while on her way to her alma mater, Prairie View A&M University, for a speech on child welfare, civil rights, and social issues. Waller County Sheriff’s Department officials say that she was stopped for improper signaling a lane change. They say she was charged with “Assault on a Public Servant” and taken into custody by a Texas Department of Public Safety trooper.
The police have now have turned the investigation over to Texas Rangers. Some family members and friends say Bland was found hanging in the jail cell, but authorities have not confirmed the exact circumstances around her death.
The sheriff’s department press release states that they applied CPR, but Bland was pronounced dead shortly after she was found.
The ABC7 I-Team in Chicago has reached out to Bland’s friends and relatives who say they do not believe the official version of what happened. The are suspecting that this is a case of foul play in a county with a history racial intolerance.
The hashtag #JusticeForSandy, #SandySpeaks, and #WhatHappenedInBland have since hit the internet and have hit social media and have garnered over 1,000 posts and reposts of family members, friends, and members of the Black greek community who are speaking out and questioning the official reports.
Sandra was a member of the Delta Alpha Chapter of Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority Inc. Her line sister, Alana Taylor, reached out to WatchTheYard.com with the following comment about Sandra’s death:
“Sandra Bland is my line sister. Her personality and outlook on life alone DOES NOT resemble uncertainty or depression. She was a strong force that took life head on. Suicide would be the LAST thing on her mind as she was on the brink of starting a new chapter of life: a new job, a strong cause to fight for and a thick network of support. There are just too many discrepancies and holes in the official report. As far as her friends, chapter, alma mater and family are concerned: Sandy is still speaking and somebody is gonna listen. #SandySpeaks”
According to ABC7, “Members of Bland’s family and some friends say they will converge on Wednesday to protest in Waller County, Texas, which is 50 miles north of Houston. Family members say they intend to bring her body back to Illinois for burial when authorities release it.”
Did you know Sandra Bland? Please post your memories of her, pictures of her and thoughts about death in the comment section below.
Click on the arrows below to see pictures of Bland and read the official press release from the Waller County Sheriff’s Department:
Listen To Shaquille O’Neal Rap About Being A Que
Shaquille O’Neal reps Omega Psi Phi and he reps them HARD!
Take a listen to Pinc Gator’s “I’m a Que” remix featuring Shaq. The song was originally produced in Spring ’06, but Shaq added a verse for the Fall ’08 remix.
Did Shaq hold it down for Da Bruhz? Let us know in the comment section below and share the video with your favorite Que on Facebook. It will make their day!
Here is the original song:
Share this on Facebook if you think it deserves to go VIRAL!
Black Fraternity/Sorority Presidents Respond to ‘Burning Sands’ Movie in Joint Statement
The National Panhellenic council just released a joint statement on hazing in response to the movie Burning Sands.
In their recent statement entitled ‘Joint Statement on Hazing in Response to the Movie Burning Sands’ the national presidents of each of the five fraternities and four sororities that make up the “Divine 9” were clear and straight to the point with their response.
“In 1990, the NPHC organizations issued a joint statement announcing the elimination of
pledging and each has instituted within its respective organization, a revised membership
development and intake process.
Each NPHC organization has instituted strong policies against hazing and has taken steps
to reinforce and strengthen its stand against prohibited conduct whether it is displayed
[through] movies, books, [or] any type of social media.
NPHC and its member organizations have developed and instituted policies against hazing
and have taken steps to reinforce and strengthen their stand against this prohibited
conduct. Equally important NPHC and its member organizations do not condone, support,
or encourage the production of movies, books, or any type of social media that promote
The film, directed by Gerard McMurray (a member of Omega Psi Phi who was initiated through Howard’s Alpha Chapter) is centered around a young man pledging a fictional Black fraternity at a fictional HBCU. In the 2-minute trailer alone, you see the pledges being kicked, punched, paddled, forced to drink large amounts of water, submerged under water, beat up and spit on.
According to Netflix, who will be releasing the film this week on their streaming services,
“Burning Sands takes you on a raw, voyeuristic journey of fraternity pledging through the eyes of one favored pledgee, who is torn between honoring a code of silence or standing up against the intensifying violence of underground hazing. Led by a breakthrough performance by Trevor Jackson, director Gerard McMurray’s feature directorial debut brings an emotional honesty to the classic tale of “rites of passage” and the complicated bonds of brotherhood.”
The movie also stars Alfre Woodard, Steve Harris, Tosin Cole, DeRon Horton and Moonlight’s Trevante Rhodes and was written by Christine Berg and Gerard McMurray.
The Netflix Original is executive produced by Caroline Connor and the rapper Common.
According to Netflix, the movie will be launching on Netflix on March 10, 2017.
Stuart Scott Explains The Greatest Thing He Learned While Pledging Alpha Phi Alpha
[Originally posted on January 4th, 2015]
Today legendary sports anchor, Stuart Scott, passed away at the age of 49 after fighting a lengthy battle with cancer.
Many know Scott for his work on ESPN but also for the fact that he was a brother of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity Inc. Stuart entered the bond in the fall of 1984 at University of North Carolina’s Mu Zeta chapter and he was the number seven on his pledge line, the “Twelve Masters of the Mix.”
In an interview in the book The Divine Nine: The History of African American Fraternities and Sororities by Lawrence Ross, Brother Scott opened up about his pledging experience and and the qualities he developed as a brother:
“One of the most important lessons that I learned from Alpha was while I was pledging. I think it is difficult for those who are not Greek to understand how pledging is a wonderful time to test your intelligence, dedication, and find out about yourself. One time, my dean of pledges asked me if I could do ten one-handed pushups. Being the athlete that I am, I jumped to the task and knocked them out. He then asked my line brother whether he could do ten one-handed pushups. He couldn’t. The dean then turned to me and explained this fact: No matter how skillful I might have been, I was only as strong as the weakest link on my line. I have used this lesson throughout my professional and personal life to remind me that I must always help out the weakest link. I’ll never forget that.”
Stuart was a man of action and perseverance, a true Alpha and a great role model to not just Alphas but people across all industries. He was “cooler than the other side of the pillow.” He had style, poise and was eloquent in conversation. He was, a father, a true Alpha man, and did not let his condition with cancer define him.
“We used to have a saying,” Stuart said once during an interview. “All great men are not Alphas, but all Alphas are great men.”
Well, Stuart, you were a great man. You will be missed.
If you have any personal memories about Stuart as a brother of Alpha Phi Alpha, please share them in the comment section below. Also, we are looking for as many pictures of Stuart in connection to Alpha Phi Alpha as we can get. If you have any, please send them to WatchTheYard@gmail.com
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