An Open Letter To Oluwatoyin Salau

An open letter to Oluwatoyin Salau and the Black girls we have failed

Toree Weaver

AfterBuzz TV Host & Writer
Posted On: June 17th, 2020 3:21pm pst

Maria Menounos
Keven Undergaro
AfterBuzz TV Founders

Founded by Emmy winning journalist Maria Menounos and Producer Keven Undergaro, AfterBuzz TV is the artist-friendly entertainment news platform that celebrates, discusses, interviews, promotes and reports on the widest range of stars, creators and content through video, audio and article publications.

Have you ever wanted to write a letter to someone who’s impacted your life? Just express your true feelings on paper? Well, Afterbuzz TV has a new series called, “Open Letter” to give staff writers the chance to communicate those feelings. Here’s an open letter from our staff writer Toree Weaver enclosed to Oluwatoyin Salau.  

Toree Weaver 

Washington, D.C 

June 16, 2020

Dear Oluwatoyin Salau, 

“The most disrespected person in America is the black woman. The most unprotected person in America is the black woman. The most neglected person in America is the Black woman.” -Malcolm X 

The words from a speech Malcolm X gave in 1962 still speak the same truth about the current state of the world. Black women have rallied behind every race, gender, sex, and religion countless times. They have nurtured, fought, protected, and loved a world that does not value their very existence. Blame is easy to shift and hard to accept but, it is time that we recognize that everyone continues to drop the ball.  

Oluwatoyin Salau, we have failed you and every black girl and woman. Your life mattered, your life was meaningful, and your life was powerful, but the world should have told you this before you were taken away. Oluwatoyin has been a leader in the #blacklivesmatter movement since the killing of George Floyd. Her last days were spent calling for justice for a black trans man who was killed by police in Tallahassee, Florida.  

“We’re doing this for our brothers and our sisters who got shot but we’re doing this for every black person because of the end of the day, I cannot take my [redacted] skin color off,” she said as she shared insight on being Black in America. 

Just hours prior to Oluwatoyin going missing, she tweeted she was sexually assaulted earlier in the day. In addition to her traumatic experience, she was seeking refuge from abuse and “unjust living situations” before the incident. She detailed the situation while wearing the same clothes, in hopes that someone would do something. Under those very tweets, you will find countless accounts questioning the validity and devaluing her story. 

Many black women, like Oluwatoyin, have been abused by members in and out of the Black community. The world has stripped black men of their strength, humanity, and rights since the founding of this nation. As they pick up the pieces of their masculinity, it is common practice to throw it in faces of the one group that is beneath them- Black women. But when a Black man’s ego is delicately pieced back together, who is there to make Black women feel whole again? Unfortunately, no one shows up.  

Why was Toyin’s call not answered? How many black girls have to fear being thrown in a dumpster, slapped with a skateboard, sexually assaulted, followed home, or killed before their lives are considered valuable? The answer can’t simply be numbers. It’s impossible for that to be the answer when every black girl alive and dead has had these very fears. 

To honor Oluwatoyin, we must do the work and protect Black women. Not just the women you are related or attracted to, but every single one. The ones you have stolen from, criticized, disappointed, and turned a blind eye too. Tisha Brown, who spoke at the same rally Salau did prior to her death, spoke these words according to boston.com.  

“She humbled me. I’m going to try to live to do the good work that I have been continuing to do, but harder and harder. I’m not going to stop until we get this right,” she said.  

Everyone should join her in this pledge. Holding each other accountable, providing comfort, refraining from oversexualizing, uplifting, protecting, and believing Black women should be the standard. 

America, it is time to answer the call. 

With respect, 

Toree A. Weaver 

About The Author:

Toree Weaver is an AfterBuzz TV host with a passion for glamour and kingdoms. When she isn’t modeling or dancing, she can be found binge watching shows from Gossip Girl to Game of Thrones.

Founded by Emmy winning journalist Maria Menounos and Producer Keven Undergaro, artist-friendly AfterBuzz TV is the world’s largest digital broadcast network and pop culture news platform, producing post-game ‘after-shows’ for nearly all favorite TV shows, interviewing cast and showrunners and providing the widest video, audio and article coverage of shows, content and influencers than any entertainment news platforms in existence

“We don’t just celebrate and cover the top shows, content and stars, we celebrate and cover ALL the shows, content and stars.”

Maria Menounos

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