The National Black Justice Coalition (NBJC) Mourns the Loss of Angel Unique
WASHINGTON, DC— Angel Unique, a 25-year-old Black transgender woman, was shot to death in Memphis, Tennessee, on October 25. She was found dead at a Motel 6 in the Memphis Whitehaven neighborhood, where she stayed overnight. Angel was a cosmetologist and would have celebrated her 26 birthday this December. On October 30, Angel’s friends and family held a vigil to remember her and share memories. Her friend, Shinese Weddle, remembers Angel as “very funny, very nice to everybody she met,” and a family member saying she was “a bright person with a positive spirit.” Weddle also believes that Angel was killed because she was trans.
“This one hits hard, especially after what felt like a collective sigh of release with the news of a Black woman breaking barriers by becoming the Vice President-elect, over the weekend,” said David Johns, executive director of the National Black Justice Coalition. “Let this be a reminder that there is still so much work to do to respond to the enduring violence that disproportionately impacts Black trans women and girls. This work should remain a priority for anyone who purports to value Black lives. It’s important for people to know that this happened; that Angel Unique’s life has been stolen so that one day soon, we don’t have to circulate statements that memorialize members of our community who deserve to live safely, freely.”
2020 has been the deadliest year on record for trans and nonbinary people in the United States. Most of the victims have been Black or Lantix trans women, and most of the crimes have involved guns. All of us must continue to stop the epidemic of violence and protect the trans community from discrimination and prejudice. No one should fear death far too soon because they live openly as their true self. As we transition into a new presidential administration and have a host of newly elected officials, we must hold them accountable for actively working to end the violence and protect the trans community from the transphobia and marginalization they continuously have to face.
The Memphis Police Department doesn’t have a suspect and asks anyone with information on Angel Unique’s death to contact Crime Stoppers at 901-528-CASH.
A friend has set up a GoFundMe page to cover Angel’s funeral expenses, which you can donate to here: :https://bit.ly/3lgJIRF
The NBJC Stolen Lives list of those lost to violence and hate can be found here.