Venida Browder, mother of Kalief Browder, dies at 63; colonialism is to blame

NEW YORK––Venida Browder, mother of Kalief Browder, has died at the age of 63 due to complications of a heart attack. She passed away at St. Barnabas Hospital on Friday.

Kalief Browder committed suicide via hanging at age 22. “Young Kalief was arrested at the age of 16 in 2010 and imprisoned for three years after being accused by lying police of stealing a backpack.

“Kalief never stood trial, nor was he found guilty of any crime. He, however, spent three years at the Riker’s jail. Nearly two of those years were spent in solitary confinement.

“The case was eventually dismissed and Kalief…was released in June of 2013 after numerous postponements of his case and 31 hearings.” –

After his three-year ordeal at the hands of the colonial State, Kalief struggled psychologically. This is to be expected after enduring three years in a prison system under false accusations by the police.

Venida stated six months after Kalief’s death, “He tried to lead a normal life but after being beaten, starved, being in solitary confinement for so long, that would take a toll on a grown man, let alone a child. It did a lot to damage him.”

Venida and Kalief, celebrate Kalief’s 7th birthday

Venida didn’t die of a broken heart; she was killed by colonialism

Venida is one of many African mothers left to morn the State-imposed death of their child. She struggled against the State to gain justice for her son; she filed lawsuits and fought for prison reform.

Venida’s lawyer, Paul Prestia, stated that she died of “a broken heart” as a result of the stress of her fight.  

The African People Socialist Party knows, however, that colonized Africans people do not die from “broken hearts.” Colonialism and parasitic capitalism are the direct causes of our problems in our entire lives. Colonialism is responsible for our deaths.

We suffer from depression, fragmentation, powerlessness, poverty, isolation, loneliness, unemployment, homelessness, imprisonment, etc. All aspects of our lives are defined by a hostile foreign colonial power and domination over us.

Sister Venida, was a colonized African whose resources were being looted to the point that she could not afford the initial $3000 bail for her son. She was a victim of the colonial State.

It is an insult for these colonial contradictions faced by Venida and all Africans to be ignored.

Chalking up her death to “a broken heart” does not hold colonialism accountable. This is an incorrect statement which ignores the lack of proper healthcare and the economic and political powerlessness which Venida endured as a colonized African.

Colonialism must go! Then and only then will our people be able to live long, fulfilled lives. 

Long Live Venida Browder!

Freedom in our Lifetime!


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