Assa Traoré, a 35-year-old activist who has been fighting racism and police violence in France since the death of her brother Adama in 2016, received the US BET Global Good Award on Sunday night.
French woman Assa Traoré, a figure in the fight against police violence and racism since the death of her brother Adama, “killed” according to her by French law enforcement, received the BET Global Good award on Sunday, June 28.
The 35-year-old activist thanked BET, an American television channel that awards awards to African American or minority people. “It’s a recognition for all the victims, for all the families who never stop fighting for truth and justice,” she said in a video message broadcast during a virtual awards ceremony.
Voluminous Afro cut and still wearing a “justice for Adama” T-shirt, Assa Traore, who had never campaigned before, is today compared to a French “Angela Davis” in the wake of the death of African American George Floyd.
“Truth and Justice”
Since her brother died in July 2016 following her arrest of genders in Beaumont-sur-Oise (Val-d’Oise), a Parisian region, she has been holding demonstrations, speaking out, interviews. With the support of a solid “committee” of twenty relatives and activists in the neighborhood, she is tirelessly demanding “truth and justice” for Adama.
Her “truth” is that her brother was “killed”. The investigation, which is still ongoing, was turned into an expert battle.
After becoming a full-time activist, she never returned to her job as a specialized educator and lives with her three children, ages 6, 8 and 12, in an apartment on the outskirts of Paris.
If the “Adama battle” has so far remained rather limited to the neighborhood and militant spheres, the global sentiment evoked by George Floyd’s death gave another dimension. In its committee, Assa Traoré gathered thousands of people in the capital in early June and hundreds of others all over France.
Controversy in France
Assa’s “fight” has also crossed the borders. Several American newspapers have painted his portraits in recent days and star Rihanna has shared a post on social networks via his brand’s story to pay tribute to his commitment.
In France, its positioning continues to cause controversy, and several intellectuals condemn the “racialization” of public debate, in violation of “republican universalism”.
Since 2016, his numbers have been politicized. “With my brother’s name, I will change everything I can change,” she recently told AFP. So we saw her take the head of a demonstration against Emmanuel Macron’s politics 2018, paired alongside the “yellow vests” or recent caretakers.