The fourth episode of the Black Moon Podcast honors the life of Muhlaysia Booker. Muhlaysia Booker was a 22 year old woman with a big personality. Raised in Dallas, TX, Muhlaysia was Black, Trans, dynamic, dramatic, determined, and absolutely hilarious. Muhlaysia describes herself as a comedian, she calls in that she will be famous, and in one of the last videos saved on her FB, she emphatically reminds us that time is fleeting and there’s no second chance on this life.
On Saturday May 18, 2019, Muhlaysia Booker was seen for the last time getting into a light colored Lincoln. The next time Muhlaysia would be seen was around 6:40am that Saturday morning. She was found facedown in the street, dead from a gunshot wound. Police would id her killer nearly a month later. On June 12, 2019, Dallas PD held a press conference where they announced that Kendrell Lyles, a 33 year old Black man with no prior criminal record, was being charged for Muhlaysia’s murder.
JO ANN ROBINSON
The fIfth episode of the Black Moon Podcast honors the life of Jo Ann Robinson. Jo Ann Robinson was a beacon to all freedom fighters who do their work in the background. Without Jo Ann Robinson, we might have never known the names of Rosa Parks and Martin Luther King Jr., and we, Black people that is, may still be sitting in the back of the bus. This episode is a little bit different in that I actually do not know how Jo Ann Robinson died. I know the magnificence of how she lived, and I know that she is often forgotten in the story of how we’ve always fought to get free.
There is a quote attributed to Banksy that says “You die twice. One time when you stop breathing and a second time, a bit later on, when somebody says your name for the last time.” When I first discovered the life and work of Jo Ann Robinson, it felt like an urgent call, like she had almost died for that second time in our collective memory and like I needed to tell everyone I could about her. Jo Ann Robinson was PRESCIENT, she either saw the future or just had big faith. Either way, that lady changed the world.
The third episode of the Black Moon Podcast honors the life of Danshaun Wells. Danshaun Wells was the second oldest of six kids. He was enterprising, sweet, and wise beyond his years. By the time he was 11 years old, Danshaun was running a full service lawn maintenance business and hiring out the houseless people living in his neighborhood. His mom Dee said that Danshaun was her own personal geek squad, a walking dictionary, a boss in his own right, and he really loved his family and they really loved him. At the time of his death, Danshaun was 14 years old and soon to be a high school sophomore.
On the night of Jul 18, 2016, Danshaun Wells and two of his friends cut through the checkers parking lot near his house. They were going to get something to drink and right when they were about to cross the street, Danshaun realized that his laces were untied. As his two friends began to cross, Danshaun who was still standing in the 4 foot bike lane, bent down to tie his shoelaces. He never saw it coming. IT was a white audi truck driven by Jonathan Smalls, a man with an extensive driving record. Jonathan Smalls would hit Danshaun with his truck, taking the life of the precious 14 year old, and then would later unaffectedly tell Danshaun’s mother, “I never meant for it to go down like that with shawty.”
The second episode of the Black Moon Podcast honors the life of Korryn Gaines. Korryn Gaines was the third child of Rhanda Dormeus. Rhanda describes her daughter as a voracious reader, precocious, outspoken, extremely honest as a child but respectful. At 23 years old Korryn Gaines was tiny, standing at 5’2 and weighing only 106llbs. In adulthood Korryn stayed true to her childhood character. She was honest, outspoken, and defiant. She was also fun, creative, loved her Blackness, and she was very aware of the history of exploitation experienced by Black people in America.
On August 1, 2016, Korryn Gaines was killed, shot several times by Officer Royce Ruby Jr of the Baltimore County Police Department. Her 5 year old son Kodi would also be shot in the face and the elbow. Both the shot to Kodi’s cheek and elbow were a result of ricocheting bullets shot by Officer Ruby.
The first episode of the Black Moon Podcast honors the life of Marshawn McCarrel. MarShawn, or “Shawn” as his friends knew him, was a community organizer, a poet, and a bringer of joy to everyone around him. He inspired people to help others. His tribe described him as “living the commitments that many of us talk about everyday.” They said that “MarShawn was a soldier for the liberation of all people. His spirit was effervescent with visionary beauty, creativity, and love.”
On Monday, February 8th, 2016 around 6pm, at the tender age of 23, it is said that Marshawn McCarrel committed suicide in front of Ohio’s Statehouse. He was pronounced dead at the scene from an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound. There were no witnesses to the shooting.