Quantcast

13-Year-Old Girl Dies After Fight With Classmates & Ladies, We Need To Talk

Human Interest

Monday, I learned that one of my best friends from college would probably be indicted for murder and spend the rest of her life in prison. She wasn't a thug or gangbanger, and she played in the marching band at our university. Although she and I fell out a couple of years ago, I looked at her as someone I would always be there for. She picked me up from my chaotic household when I was in an abusive relationship. She gave me money for studio time when she knew I was hard up. And she was an excellent mother to a four-year-old son. Now, after discharging a gun into a crowd of people at a party after an altercation and starting a gunfight resulting in the death of a young man, she will likely face life in prison.

The rule in my home (and I'm sure many other black households) was always, "if someone hits you, hit them back". But what happens when the reciprocal blows turn into gunshots, or in the case of two young girls who were recently pronounced dead following fatal altercations with their classmates? Kashala Francis who was 13, and Raniya Wright, who was 10, were said to have both died of natural causes, but there's a bigger story to be told within the untimely deaths of these two young girls.

There's a false narrative that has become widely accepted that says Black women are innately angry and aggressive. This rhetoric is not only inaccurate and unproven, but it's actually pretty dangerous to believe that anger is somehow embedded in our DNA; but the archetype of the mad Black woman cannot be completely debunked without first understanding the psychology of angry Black girls.

Kashala Francis (L), Raniya Wright (R)

Raniya Wright's story made headlines last month following a fight with another student at her elementary school that ended in death. Although police determined that Raniya's death was caused my a pre-existing condition, her mother is still desperate for answers as to what happened in that classroom on the day her daughter died. While some students say they saw the student bang Raniya's head on a bookshelf and beat her in the head with her fist, the teacher in charge told police that the fight only lasted about 10 seconds.

Kashala Francis who attended Attucks Middle School in Houston, Texas, was brutally kicked, stomped and beaten on her walk home from school last Thursday. The incident was recorded by one of her attackers, and featured kids laughing as Kashala took blows to the head. The 13-year-old went home after the fight, but by Sunday, her mother says that Kashala complained of a severe headache; she was then rushed to the hospital, fell into a coma and later died. Doctors shared that after her death, they discovered that Kashala had a large undiscovered tumor that led to fluid buildup in her brain, which likely contributed to her death.

Raniya Wright was laid to rest after a celebration of her life at Saints Center Ministries in Walterboro.

I'm not a doctor, investigator, or coroner, but one thing is for damn sure. If those fights hadn't occurred, Raniya and Kashala may have still had a fighting chance. I can't say that definitively, because unfortunately, we'll never know.

It truly makes me sad that the world is currently riddled with angry little girls, and it's not their fault. Bearing the weight of both strength and generational trauma handed down by our ancestors, many times, our passion is misinterpreted and it evolves into pain. It's that same pain that has us ready to beat the next person's ass who tries to punk us out of the respect we feel we deserve.

We as adults have to move forward and away from this way of thinking and cancel "Beat A B*tch Ass" culture. We are constantly fed images of Black women abusing one another, from reality TV to social media; even Nicki and Cardi almost caught a round once or twice.

We're taught by the media that the only way to earn what we deserve is to fight, both literally and figuratively and we have got to teach our daughters that is just not true.

A study done by Georgetown University in 2017 revealed that starting at age 5, adults see little Black girls as more aggressive. This fact may not be true, but it does not change perception; what we can do is acknowledge that silencing the stigma of the mad Black woman is directly rooted in understanding the childhood of an angry little girl and teaching her that hurting someone else isn't the way to heal her pain.

At first, it was really hard for me to understand how a child could have enough anger in their hearts to kick, stomp, and beat another person, but as I thought harder, I realized that it could be any of our daughters in that position. Any woman who's ever gotten into a fist fight knows that pain, and has to make an effort to combat that urge to throw hands so that we can set a more inspirational example for our daughters.

My friend, who is 24 years old and facing a life sentence, was so much more than a mad Black woman who discharged a gun; but now, she will likely spend the rest of her life away from her son, family, and friends who love her so much simply because she never learned to tame the angry little girl that lived inside of her, and that is a real shame.

Featured image courtesy of Mamie Jackson.

This article is in partnership with Xfinity.

Those who have experienced an HBCU homecoming understand the assignment. Students, alumni, and family of a Historically Black College and University gather to partake in the excitement of celebrating the heritage and culture of the school. It's a time of joy, honoring traditions, and for some, reflecting on the good ol' days. Homecoming weekends are spent eating well, laughing plenty, and enjoying the sights; and there is plenty to see! (Spoiler alert: Sleep is not on the syllabus.)

Keep reading... Show less
The daily empowerment fix you need.
Make things inbox official.

One of my favorite things about the changing seasons are the new vibes and new energies that change welcomes with it. September represents a transition from the white sand beaches, bottomless brunches, and undeniable romantic vibes long nights, festivals, and impromptu road trips often thought of when we think about the summer. In its place comes romanticism in a different approach. Pumpkin spice anything, the excuse to cuddle up, and the leaves of the trees turning warm shades sparks joy in a different way as fall begins. Perhaps what I am most excited about though are the 2021 wellness trends that come with it.

Keep reading... Show less

A few days ago, I was having a conversation with some folks about songs that should've been official singles yet never were. One of the ones that I shared was Mariah Carey's "All Alone in Love" (a song that she wrote when she was only 15, by the way). To me, it's a perfect way to intro this piece because I have had enough personal experiences and counseled enough people to know that it is very possible to be in a relationship with someone — and still feel quite alone in it. Not because your partner doesn't love you. Not because they're up to some totally f'ed up shenanigans. It's just…even though you signed up for a true and lasting partnership, somehow you now feel some of the very words that define what being alone can feel like: unattended, detached, unassisted, semi-compassionless and perhaps even abandoned on some levels.

Keep reading... Show less

When I think about actresses who have been cultural figures throughout my lifetime, Gabrielle Union-Wade is truly one of the first names that come to mind. I can recall being on the playground in grade school urging my friends to learn the cheer routines from Bring it On just as easily as I can remember a few years ago watching Being Mary Jane, crying from the relatability of Mary Jane's life struggles (a story for another day). It's inspiring to watch a powerful black woman whose art has been a consistent source of entertainment and influence. Although I must say, I think many of us have grown to cherish her personal journey and stories just as much.

Keep reading... Show less

Feed-in braids have become one of the hottest hair trends on the scene. These types of braids are created by "feeding-in" pieces of hair extensions to the main braid so that it gradually grows in size. It gives the illusion that the hair is directly growing from the scalp, which comes in clutch for styles that requires synthetic hair. This type of styling allows for a more natural look at the hairline and it protects your edges and hairline from excessive tension from heavy hair extensions thus, reducing the likelihood of traction alopecia (or loss of hair from the hairline.) And for women of color, tight braids or pulling the hair back too tight is one leading cause of this type of hair loss.

Keep reading... Show less
Exclusive Interviews

Exclusive: Lucky Daye Is Doing It For The Culture, From The Soul

Every so often, an artist comes along who seems to be a physical manifestation of all that we are.

Latest Posts