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NBJC Speaks Out on Hate Crime Killing of Mark Carson


Sharon J. Lettman-Hicks

Executive Director & CEO

National Black Justice Coalition


In response to the murder of New York resident Mark Carson in an alleged anti-gay hate crime this past weekend, NBJC Executive Director Sharon J. Lettman-Hicks released the following statement:

We are outraged to learn of the death of Mark Carson, a Black gay man living in New York, who was shot in the face late Friday night in what local authorities are saying is a hate crime. The murder of Mark Carson is another sobering reminder that the lives of Black LGBT people are under constant threat. The National Coalition of Anti-Violence Programs (NCAVP) has been tracking instances of violence against LGBT people and found that LGBT people of color are at an increased risk of experiencing brutal violence. Just in 2010 alone, 70 percent of the LGBT people murdered were people of color. This most recent tragedy, in addition to the murders of Marco McMillian, a Black mayoral candidate in Clarksdale, MS who was also gay, and Cemia Dove, a Black trans woman whose body was recovered from a pond near Cleveland, OH, makes it impossible to ignore the heinous violence propagated against Black LGBT people.  

We cannot, and will not, remain silent in the face of these statistics.  Just as we have done in seeking justice and keeping the stories of Marco and Cemia visible, we will continue to do everything in our power to ensure that the man who killed our brother, Mark Carson, is brought to justice. The civil rights community can no longer stand on the sidelines while our lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender sons and daughters continue to suffer in silence. We are proud of the outpouring of support and call for action demonstrated by the LGBT community and allies in NYC yesterday, and will continue to stand up and speak for the Mark Carson’s of our community. We will never stop the mantra that no one should die because of who they are, how they identify, how they’re perceived, or who they love.

The National Black Justice Coalition (NBJC) is a civil rights organization dedicated to the empowerment of Black lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer and same gender loving (LGBTQ/SGL) people, including people living with HIV/AIDS.