Hannah Drake, 44, a poet and writer, refused to stay silent, and she has been fighting for Taylor since her death. Early on, Drake helped elevate Taylor’s story by sharing information about the case on social media, but her concerns gained little traction.
“Breonna Taylor had two things working against her,” Drake said: “She was Black, and she was a woman.”
Drake said that once Taylor’s case got national attention, it was “important for people to shout ‘say her name’ and attach her name to the movement,” because Black women affected by police brutality are often overlooked.
Drake, a regular at the Louisville protests, was known for standing in front of large crowds, microphone in hand, reciting poems that empowered many and called out discrimination, bigotry and inequality in America. Over the summer, Drake said, she delivered her 2016 poem “Formation” at countless rallies.
“The poem describes the history of racism, police brutality and what has happened to Black people … and at the end of the piece, I added the line ‘this is for Breonna Taylor’s assassination,’ because that’s what happened to her,” she said.
Drake said she is proud of the progress the movement has made, but she warned that it would be “wrong to start patting ourselves on the back.”
“The city has not looked at the trauma that Black people have felt. … We have been tear-gassed and had assault rifles pointed at us in a city where we live and will likely die,” Drake said. “This is not a time of celebration. This is a time of seriousness, because there was no justice.”
After a year without her daughter, Palmer is still calling for accountability.
“A lot of people may think that it’s been a year, so it should be a little easier, but that’s not the case,” Palmer said. “For me, every day is March 13.”
Chloe Atkins reports for NBC News digital.