Lena Dunham and Girls showrunner Jenni Konner are fully launching their new Lenny e-newsletter this fall, but today subscribers received a special sneak peek edition. Its topic? "Sandra Bland's legacy."
Dunham kicked things off with Q&A with Chenai Okammor, a close friend and colleague of Bland, the woman who died in jail three days after being arrested in Texas by a state trooper for not signaling when switching lanes. Okammor and Bland's new site, Woman4Woman, launched today and inspired the Lenny team to send out the preview.
Lenny Editor-at-Large Doreen St. Felix wrote in the email, "We wanted to tell you about it before Lenny’s official launch this fall, so that you could share it with your friends and cement Sandra’s legacy."
Okammor described Bland's thoughts on creating the site in the interview:
Sandy said to me, “I’m 28 and I’m just now beginning to identify what I stand for. I do know that when something is wrong, it bothers me so much that I take it to heart.” When she started working on this project I asked her what she wanted to accomplish with it. She said, “I want to be able to share my story with young women out there.” Because she still thought she was alone in her quirkiness.
Dunham told Okammor, "What struck me about Sandra is that she was an activist and a person who knew her rights and knew the concept of police brutality and men abusing their power. Part of what she was doing with you was fighting against that every day. It must have been especially painful and personal for her, to be arrested in this way."