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Black Greeks Speak Out Questioning The Suspicious Death Of Sigma Gamma Rho’s Sandra Bland In A Texas Jail Cell

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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:
Screen Shot 2015-07-15 at 3.43.21 PM

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63 Comments

  1. jlm6

    July 15, 2015 at 1:56 pm

    Correction on the name of her alma mater; it is Prairie View A&M University.

  2. jlm6

    July 15, 2015 at 1:58 pm

    There’s a needed correction on the name of her alma mater; it is Prairie View A&M University.

  3. catch22

    July 15, 2015 at 2:08 pm

    Correction. Omega Rho is a chapter for deceased sorors of which she is now a
    member.

    • Moccahontas

      July 16, 2015 at 5:42 am

      Not a laughing matter! Rude!

      • catch22

        July 16, 2015 at 7:36 am

        Where’s the joke? The post originally stated my soror was a member of Omega Rho prior to her untimely death. I offered a correction which stayed within the parameters of the private information of Sigma Gamma Rho. No jokes.

        • emeraldeyes24

          July 17, 2015 at 1:24 am

          Highly insensitive!

          • catch22

            July 17, 2015 at 7:11 pm

            Read. Or use google.

        • Moccahontas

          July 17, 2015 at 6:30 pm

          Yeah ok smh

          • catch22

            July 17, 2015 at 7:13 pm

            I’m going to accept this as an apology. We need not go out of our way to attack other women without giving them the benefit of the doubt.

    • Mitchell Kristen Michelle

      July 16, 2015 at 8:34 am

      You fucking asshole

      • catch22

        July 16, 2015 at 10:48 am

        See my response below. You’re not a member of Sigma Gamma Rho, so you’re not privy to our organization structure. Have a seat before you call me an asshole again, six.

      • Romunda Harris-Fonville

        July 16, 2015 at 11:10 am

        A factual correction was requested. If you are not clear on something let’s not just move to negativity young lady. At this point we her sisters have little patience for ignorance

  4. Alana Taylor

    July 15, 2015 at 3:57 pm

    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

  5. theSciencePoodle22

    July 15, 2015 at 4:09 pm

    Until Omega Rho Soror Bland

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  11. Bishop L J Guillory

    July 16, 2015 at 9:42 am

    We Must Stand Up Against This Murder ~ Period Join The Fight for Justice ~
    http://www.NationalOmbudsman.Org

  12. Delilah

    July 16, 2015 at 10:12 am

    Absolutely must investigate this stat, highly doubt she took her own life.

    • Ernie

      July 18, 2015 at 9:29 am

      Soror Bland, God Bless You, Alpha Phi Alpha, Life member.

      • freedom_fighter

        July 18, 2015 at 10:14 am

        Would you be kind enough to explain soror chapter to me. I was reading about the unfortunate and untimely death of this young lady and found out she is a soror

        • Ernie

          July 18, 2015 at 5:06 pm

          Based on what I read on the Sigma Gamma Rho website, she was a member of Delta Alpha Chapter, if I am correct. It seems to me that the system has declared war on Black/Brown folks.

  13. johndo713

    July 16, 2015 at 11:24 am

    When I was in high school, my friend’s mom was killed in jail. They told her family
    that she hung herself. Everyone who knew her said there was no way she would
    kill herself. I think the police restrained her too much or choked her, and
    realized they killed her. It’s easy for the police to make up a story about
    someone killing themselves and even framing them and making it look like it
    was a suicide. I’ve seen this happen more than once in the news but only know
    one person personally which this has happened to.

    • Veronica Poole

      July 17, 2015 at 8:57 am

      I think it is a shame that white police can put u in a cage and KILL us (blacks)before nite is over. We have let them get away with it so long it has become habit for them. Even some of our on who r police r turning the table on use. Ms Bland pissed them off so she had to die. She was also driving a better car than some of them another factor. My opinion will continue to pray for this calls and her family.

  14. Alan Warrick

    July 16, 2015 at 5:20 pm

    I think this is an issue that all Greeks should rally around. I used to be a lawyer in Texas and I had a case in that County. I think there is animosity between law enforcement and Prarie View which is in the same county as Texas A&M. I wonder what the comparable arrest rates are for those two schools?

    • emeraldeyes24

      July 17, 2015 at 1:30 am

      Racial intolerance appears to be the more logical explanation. How would the officer know that she was in any way affiliated with any school. She made a lane change without signalling [as though every driver in the world hasn’t done that a few times – including this Neanderthal officer]. He was looking for a black guy or gal to rough up and Sandra was in the wrong place on that particular day. His career is finished. Done. As may be his life! Please read and sign the petition demanding that the DOJ assume the investigation into Sandra’s death. https://www.change.org/p/the-united-states-department-of-justice-attorney-general-loretta-lynch-take-over-the-investigation-into-the-death-of-sandra-bland-from-the-waller-county-texas-police-department?

      • pdarden

        July 17, 2015 at 4:47 pm

        I agree with your assessment re “racial intolerance”, however, he could have assumed that she was affiliated with Prairie View A&M University. Where she was accused of the illegal lane change and then arrested is literally, less than 200 yards from the entrance of the University. There is a red light and then a few 100 yards is where she was arrested. She had just left the campus so the likelihood is that she came right down the main street through the light. He very well could have a problem with the city of Prairie View as well which is a small city made of people who more than likely have a relaitonship with the University in way or another – former professors, their families, alum, etc…

      • freedom_fighter

        July 18, 2015 at 10:11 am

        How is his life finished ??? Do you mean his earning potential???

    • pdarden

      July 17, 2015 at 4:41 pm

      Prairie View A&M University is not in the same county as Texas A&M University. In fact, there is an entire county and maybe 2 counties between the 2 universities.

      • Alan Warrick

        July 17, 2015 at 4:52 pm

        Thanks for the correction.

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  18. Tewodross Melchishua

    July 17, 2015 at 9:11 am

    My dear sister was murdered. Let’s keep it simple. My people, we cannot let them get away with this. Divine 9, HBCU grads, and all human beings, this is a tragedy. My brothers of Kappa Alpha Psi and all my people, beyond the colors let’s unite to fight for justice for this sister. Ase and respect, love, healing and prayers to her family.

    #‎sandyspeaks‬ ‪#‎blacklivesmatter‬ ‪#‎WhatHappenedToSandyBland‬ ‪#‎JusticeForSandy‬ ‪#‎WallerCountyLine‬

    • freedom_fighter

      July 18, 2015 at 10:10 am

      What is divine 9 ???

      • Tewodross Melchishua

        July 18, 2015 at 10:18 am

        The Divine 9 is/are the Black Greek letter organizations at various colleges and universities throught the country, esp. at HBCUs.

        http://hbculifestyle.com/the-divine-9-sororities-and-fraternities-on-hbcu-campuses/

        • freedom_fighter

          July 18, 2015 at 10:27 am

          Sorry I am from South Africa and I am not familiar with greek life. Can you expound more on it ? Did it come from Greece and what is its connection to blacks if any or race is not a factor???

          • TREYWOOD

            July 23, 2015 at 10:53 am

            Good questions! Just some more separation stuff for us black americans.. that’s all

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  35. freedom_fighter

    July 18, 2015 at 10:06 am

    My condolences on the death of this young lady at such a young age. Can someone educate me on greek life? I am not from the USA so please forgive my ignorance

  36. Betty Shields

    July 19, 2015 at 2:38 pm

    I speak this in the name of Jesus that her killers and everyone involved are tormented until they tell the truth about her death.

  37. Pingback: Who was SANDRA? |

  38. Pingback: Sandra Bland to be honoured with a candlelight vigil in Ottawa

  39. Earlene Taylor Robertson

    August 26, 2015 at 7:45 am

    WHAT REALLY HAPPENED TO SANDRA BLAND.PV CLASS OF ’76,M.ED.

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Omegas

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!

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press

Black Fraternity/Sorority Presidents Respond to ‘Burning Sands’ Movie in Joint Statement

Burning sands response

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
hazing.”

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.

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Alphas

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 RossBrother 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

Stuart Scott, featured in a campus article (The Daily Tar Heel), was an undergraduate at the University of North Carolina - Chapel Hill. He was the step master for the Mu Zeta chapter of Alpha Phi Alpha.

Stuart Scott, featured in a campus article (The Daily Tar Heel), was an undergraduate at the University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill. He was the step master for the Mu Zeta chapter of Alpha Phi Alpha.

Screen Shot 2016-07-19 at 2.55.58 PM

 

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